20 Eswatini Stakeholders current a Wishlist to SADC Ministers for a peaceable answer
Violent and deadly unrest in Eswatini prompted the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to meet with the government and 20 key stakeholders in the current conflict to find a way forward. The stakeholders submit a statement and wish list to SADC.
Eswatini people and government are ready to talk
- A group of 20 broader stakeholders in the Kingdom of Eswatini has thanReport to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) at their Troika Organ Mission in eSwatini.
- The group of 20 comprised political parties, the church, the labor force, business, women’s groups, youth, students, civil society and affected citizens.
- In the Sunday session on July 4, 2021, the current political and socio-economic upheavals in the Kingdom of Eswatini and in the context of the mission of the SADC organ for politics, defense and security (TROIKA) should be discussed.
While the Eswatini army took over to ensure calm after peaceful protests turned violent, with insurgents in false uniforms and criminals looting stores and killing shopkeepers, a group of 20 legitimate Eswatini society advocates met with ministers who supported Eswatini visited the Southern African Development Community.
A statement was made stating:
We have the sending of the SADC ministerial team by the chairman of SADC-TROIKA, Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi from the Republic of Botswana, noted and generally accepted.
We would like to point out to the delegates and the international community that the current unrest in the country, which is manifesting itself in social and economic upheavals leading to violence and insecurity, is the result of a long-standing political stalemate. The underlying problem is thus political and requires a political solution that goes beyond the current constitutional framework or other local structures. Existing structures make all attempts at a constitutional solution pointless because they are severely restricted and impracticable.
The central demand of the people and the political role players in the country is and remains that of a full-fledged multi-party political dispensation as the ultimate act of restoring power to the people, as was the case before April 12, 1973.
We therefore urge the SADC delegates to make it clear to the authorities and the SADC structures that the following must be facilitated in order to break the deadlock:
- An all-encompassing and mediated political dialogue led by SADC and supported by the African Union, the Commonwealth, the United Nations, and or other bodies of similar size as agreed by the parties. All parties in this political dialogue process should come to the table on an equal footing, without one party enjoying a superior legal status.
- The complete lifting of the ban on political parties will be a key prerequisite for creating a conducive environment as the basis for an all-encompassing dialogue process. To this end, it is vital that the head of state make a statement to this effect, denouncing violence and intimidation against proponents of multi-party democracy, and removing all other obstacles to pluralism, such as lifting the ban on some entities under the Suppression of Terrorism Act 2008 in as amended (STA).
- Establishment of a transitional agency to oversee the government and reform of institutions, laws and processes in the run-up to the first democratic multi-party elections. The transitional authority will come from a multi-stakeholder platform representing the broad church of eSwatini society and its main role will be to level the playing field.
- An all-encompassing new democratic constitution based on the following pillars:
- Separation of powers
- A judicial bill of rights
- Equality before the law
- Gender parity and youth participation
- Supremacy of the constitution
- A future governance framework based on a multi-party political dispensation in which political parties have power in one free, fair and credible Choice that meets international standards and norms. The victorious political parties should form a government with full executive power.
We believe the above reflects the will of the people of eSwatini as expressed in numerous platforms and in recent petitions to their MPs. This will guarantee long-term peace and stability in the country and enable citizens to move forward with full enjoyment of the right to self-determination and other rights enshrined in international protocols.
We reiterate our previous call to all workers to stay away from work until the army is completely removed from the roads and the safety of workers is guaranteed by the government. We are also moving forward with the National Day of Prayer and Mourning in all Tinkhundla Centers on July 10th, 2021.
The following organizations and institutions were represented at the meeting:
- Foundation for Socio-Economic Justice (FSEJ)
- Federation of the eSwatini Business Community (FESBC)
- Council of Swaziland Churches (CSC)
- Swaziland Trade Union Congress (TUCOSWA)
- Swaziland Democratic Nurses’ Union (SWADNU)
- The United Democratic Movement of the Peoples (PUDEMO)
- Swaziland Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM)
- Economic Freedom Fighters of Swaziland (EFF-Swaziland)
- Institute for Democracy and Leadership (IDEAL)
- Swaziland Rural Women’s Assembly (SRWA)
- Swaziland Peoples’ Unemployment Movement (SUPMO)
- Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF)
- National Allied Public Sector Union (NAPSAWU)
- Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS)
- Swaziland Alternative Policy Institute (SAPI)
- Swaziland Concerned Church Leaders (SCCL)
- One billion rising campaign
- Trade Union Confederation Swaziland (FESWATU)
- Oxfam South Africa
- Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).