MBABANE: Political parties and the civil society have, in the midst of the political crisis in eSwatini, demanded the establishment of a transitional authority to usher the country into a new democratic dispensation.
In a joint press statement dated 02 July 2021 sent to this Swaziland News, members of the Political Parties Assembly (PPA), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), labour formations, women’s representatives, the church, the Unemployed People’s Movement, students and organised business, as well as the informal sector business representatives said they were extremely disturbed by the deteriorating security situation in the country.
"The deteriorating security situation in the country, which is characterised by the brutal murder of an estimated 40 unarmed civilians by the army and police forces under the directive of the government led by the King. We further project an estimated 1 000 citizens to have either been wounded or shot by the same security forces, including an estimated 500 mostly young people that have been incarcerated. This represents the highest form of the disregard to human rights, the rule of law and peace and security of the country. The ongoing destruction of private and public property and infrastructure including the mass looting of businesses across the country.The unilateral shutting down of the internet and other communication channels by the government, effectively taking away citizens right to free expression and economic as well as social activity" read the statement in part.
The coalition said the unilateral shutting down of the internet and other communication channels by the government, effectively taking away citizens right to free expression and economic as well as social activity. The organisations further noted the imposition of an irrational curfew, the banning of peaceful delivery of petitions to Members of Parliament and the stoppage of public gatherings without any legal basis, thus constraining citizens’ rights to freedom of movement, expression and association. The loud silence and absence of King Mswati whenever the Nation faces a national crisis, from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to this latest political crisis was also discussed by the coalition of political parties and the civil society.
"In light of the above, and the plethora of other major concerns that we have, we wish to advise our people, the government, the international community, and other stakeholders of the urgent need to take action that will lead to a lasting and sustainable solution to the country’s longstanding political stalemate. We demand the following as the basis on which this can be achieved: An inclusive political dialogue, the total unbanning of political parties, a transitional authority, new democratic Constitution, a multiparty democratic dispensation. To achieve the above, we call upon the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU) and the Commonwealth to urgently initiate, underwrite and facilitate a genuine process of engagement to move the country forward and out of the current situation" read the statement in part.
Political crisis escalates in this tiny Kingdom of Eswatini