Tuesday, February 25, 2014


As if to further drag democracy on a parade of shame, the Swaziland Royal judiciary finally admitted that what took Swazi political activists a few minutes to figure out through basic reasoning, has taken the Swazi judiciary well over three years to conclude. 
Some of Swazi political prisoners
The line of reason of the reasonable at the time was that for Bheki Dlamini, the President of the Youth wing of the biggest Political Party in Swaziland, to have been able to be at the scene of the crimes, he would have needed to be in possession of a helicopter or a faster mode of transport because on the said days he had reported to his work at 8 in the morning.
But justice is never the pursuit when political activists are thrown into the injustice system of Swaziland. Mary da Silva, Bheki Dlamini’s lawyer, once remarked that the Swazi judiciary treats political activists worse than hardened criminals.
By acquitting Bheki Dlamini of all the charges and finding Zonke Dlamini, the co-accused, guilty, will always be viewed in the only reasonable sense that Zonke was to stay behind so that the judiciary could grasp onto some form of legitimacy, as if there was a case to prosecute from the beginning.
If the Injustice System of Swaziland could knowingly keep an innocent man behind bars for well over three years, it comes without question that it wouldn’t think twice on keeping another man locked up for more years in order to lay claim to the existence of guilt for an obvious case of conspiring and framing of political activists just because the monarch and his cabal does not tolerate dissenting views.
Such can be proven on a number of cases whereby political activists walk around with bail conditions that ensure that dare they say a word in disagreement to the Monarch and the Tinkhundla regime, they would be dragged back into the abyss of confinement and torture in the shortest time possible. One such victim is a young Maxwell Dlamini, who on top of having been on the receiving end of a near impossible to pay bail amount, has been denied a scholarship to further his education and has had to be a regular visitor at a given police station in order to meet the bail conditions which are used as a tool to maintain some form of semi-incarceration of political activists. The idea is to maintain a sustained fear of hell among the political activists, through the almost official torture practice, the frequent arbitrary arrests, and the murders that are committed with impunity by Mswati III’s security forces.
 It is also logical that the system has to provide evidence for the propaganda that it punts to the Swazi people, that PUDEMO and its auxiliaries is hard at work trying to turn the country into a warzone, even though the war has not been forthcoming. So when a good number of Swazis start turning the attention to the real problem which is the poverty that is caused by the plundering of state resources by the royal family and the elite, the Nation is given another victim from the PUDEMO camp to parade around the royal judicial spaces, and for a while it seems like political parties are the problem when it is actually the greed of the royal family and the unworkable Tinkhundla political system that is the root cause of a country in the constant verge of economic collapse.  If it wasn’t for the annual SACU receipts which are guaranteed through a development component which comes out of the pocket of poor South Africans, Swaziland would have long approached South Africa so it could be annexed as a province of the latter.
The curious matter is that Zonke Dlamini who has been found guilty under the Suppression of Terrorism Act which very recently America said the Act needs to be totally annulled if Swaziland wants to hold on to the duty free AGOA arrangement that insures the salary – even though at mostly a slavery rate - of about 30 000 Swazis. It must be a genuine concern that America with its own questionable policy on terrorism, should question the justness of the Swazi Law. The question then remains that if this draconian law is repealed, will the scales of injustice still hold in Chief Justice Michael Mathealira Ramodibedi’s fiefdom?  
Again Mswati III and his judicial circus has put a not-so-stand-up show in ridiculing the very core of democratic values by making a mockery of judicial processes. There continues to be an undeniable rope as thick as a ship anchor’s chain, all the way from the palace, that yanks the gavel and wobbles the defence. Cheatham House says, “it is not undemocratic”, Buckingham Palace invites it to royal functions, it spends its blood money in Vegas, and when it is called to account it sees visions of Monarchical Democracies in the middle of electric storms and cries, “sovereignty!” Many say it is ignorant and dub it, “A Swazi problem”, but the reality is that it mocks every man woman and child who has ever stood to defend democracy.
The Swazi regime is adamant on continuing with criminalising abortion while statistics point to alarming backroom, or rather filthy toilet abortions by young girls and the mortalities thereof, while the system itself aborts its children in prison cells and torture dungeons. It has employed a Sotho national to conduct the Symphony of Judicial Misery where honourable productive citizens like Bheki Dlamini and Zonke Dlamini are criminalised for seeking justice and security forces are rewarded handsomely for replenishing the abattoir of the abettors.  The only upside to this is that Zonke Dlamini and the other political prisoners will not be alone for much longer, but will be joined by more PUDEMO and SWAYOCO members in prison.
As time passes it becomes clear that Mswati III and his tinkhundla regime will not be able to sustain the repression for too much longer. There are clear signs, like the undeniable that the system has outlived its limited vision and there need to be a system that can usher Swazi people into a humane future; the question is no more “if”, but’ “when”. If the SACU receipts can fall just once, it would be back to the begging bowl for Swaziland, and who knows the patience of South Africa when Swaziland has publicly declared itself as having taught South Africa the values of democracy, and its entire attitude towards the latter being that of arrogance and the show of empty pride.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


An issue that seem to elude Swazis, especially Swazi democracy activists is that what ZANU PF is pursuing at present might be an antithesis of what Swazi “progressives” are supposedly pursuing; or rather, that ZANU PF’s rhetoric is in disagreement with the obtaining reality in Zimbabwe.
President Robert Mugabe
Maybe to question the wisdom in cheering President Robert Mugabe, and that if it is not cheering for one’s very jeer.

Not to single out President Robert Mugabe, but to adopt the premise that all he articulates in office is ZANU PF’s pursuit and therefore its policy or maybe it’s intended policy.
To mention that Robert Mugabe is not the first African leader and surely not the last to stand up to Western Imperialists.  That there have been more daring stances by African leaders, like the move by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1956 - whose administration nationalised the British and French owned Suez Canal - in retaliation to the United States’ bullying tendencies.
 It beats reason why Robert Mugabe should receive such specialised applause when such should be the expected resolve from African leaders and not the exception. It is more or less the case of applauding the father’s child for paying child-maintenance.
To say Zimbabwe is democratic just because it is democratic on paper would be like saying Swaziland is constitutional just because it has a constitution.
Maybe trying to count the cost of “The fight against the imperialist” by ZANU PF would reveal who has been the biggest loser in ‘the war against the West”. And that ZANU won the previous elections because of its years of influence, and because of MDC’s tendencies of overly bedding “the enemy” might be more the reality than the insinuation that it is loved by the people; it is more the case of the lesser evil, and that there is a fear among Zimbabweans that if ZANU PF might lose any elections, harsh might be the retaliation from the “people’s party”, as ZANU has previously let loose the violent tendencies of its rogue youth on the populace.
That ZANU PF won the previous elections is something that the West should accustom itself to because it is actually the mostly likely outcome in appreciation of the complacency that the MDC fell into after the Government of National Unity and its disillusionment within its own ranks.
The exodus of Zimbabweans into South Africa caused by the destabilisation of Zimbabwe by the proxy war-on-Britain, (otherwise known as the Land Reform Programme) is staggering. Such reality can be appreciated if one were to see the length of the line of Zimbabweans queuing on Pritchard Street in Johannesburg trying to partake of the overwhelmingly inadequate charity that the Methodist Church has offered to the mostly displaced Zimbabwean people, while the South African government has mostly watched in disinterest. Or maybe to visit Diepsloot that has absorbed Zimbabweans to such saturation that the conditions have regressed to a point where there are sporadic Shona/Ndebele feuds.
Appreciating the sheer number of Zimbabweans in South Africa and how establishments like Steers, Checkers, Debonairs, BP filling station and many other retailers, have come to generously employ the affordable, hassle-free Zimbabwean labour, maybe it wouldn’t be an untruth to insinuate that the-war-on-the-Britain (otherwise known as Counter Colonial Therapy) should shoulder the bigger blame for the Xenophobic attacks that began in Alexander township, and continue to be a constant  bubbling-under time-bomb that threatens to go off every time any establishment retrenches employees in South Africa.

The propaganda is that Zimbabweans now own land and the food production is growing by leaps and bounds, year on year. Maybe so, but the reality is that there is a reluctance of the expatriates to repatriate and logic has it that where one is reluctant to return, the conditions are not conducive for progressive habitation.
The question still remains that, if the war was on the Britain (otherwise known as Show Them The Appropriate Finger) or the fight against the residue of the West that missed the wagon “home”, why is it that that it is mostly black Zimbabweans that have absorbed the greater part of the onslaught? Has anyone ever bothered to compare the number of affected black Zimbabweans in relation to white Zimbabweans because I am sure that main stream media hasn’t?
I guess the biggest question would be to ask if ZANU PF is pursuing a better life for Zimbabweans or if it is on some vengeance mission to show the West if it is “my Zimbabwe” or “your Britain” that has more natural minerals under the ground. Because many are the “African Heroes” within ZANU PF and much is the shoulder-patting for a job well done on unequivocally informing the imperialist on exactly where to shove it, and such ego trips are the prime suspect on the main reason for the sometimes counter-productive policies at the expense of the welfare of the people. 
It then becomes an issue of intrigue as to where Swazis - especially Swazi democracy activists - find space to unashamedly sing praises of Robert Mugabe in a narrative splattered all over the abuse of human rights. Is it not human rights abuses that are perpetrated in Swaziland that Swazi democracy activists should applaud such in Zimbabwe just because the human rights abuser has shown the middle finger to the Imperialist? That because my enemy is your enemy, then we should be friends even though you perpetrate that which I fight against? …because there are well over two million walking talking and suffering reasons in South Africa why that which is happening in Zimbabwe is abuse on fellow humans, on ZANU PF’s watch.
 Not to insinuate that ZANU PF or Robert Mugabe is devoid of virtue, but to question the wisdom to applaud one human being or a grouping of human beings when millions have been uprooted with an uncertain future, in a foreign land, while their leaders back home claim it is them they fight for. If political activist are cheering the few, then who is mourning the millions that have suffered for years and continue to suffer? It comes across as a counterintuitive case of verbal ill of politicians and political activists because common sense would have it that if the Land Reform Project was to have collateral, it would have been white Zimbabweans, but the reality is that those that have suffered the most have been black Zimbabweans, and thereafter it was a standing ovation for the perpetrators of the suffering.
It may seem like we applaud those with the prerequisite rhetoric without really taking stock of the impact they have made to human development.
The Human Development Index (HDI) measures the quality of life-experience people in a given country experience overall in areas such as how long people live, access to education; and how much money individuals make in a year. Even though it is not a watertight method but it gives a more or less reasonably reliable pointer on a given country’s direction of development.
The much sold level of education even though having grown steadily since 1980 (the Human Development Index (HDI) in income was worse off in 2012 than it was in 1980) shows that the education has not resulted in a better standard of living and more money in the pocket of the average Zimbabwean. And that ZANU PF might not have earned the hero status after-all, because even life expectancy of the average Zimbabwean was lower in 2012 than it was in 1980.
The curious thing is that even the education that is lauded as one of the best in Africa is what could be considered as average globally, because when compared with the HDI in education of countries like Finland, then Zimbabwe’s education is left wanting and when further compared in income (GDP per capita) and health, it fades into insignificance.
The question is what has ZANU PF done that political activists should whistle in hearty cheer when President Mugabe stands up? Are we now going to be a continent that cheer the most for those who throw the best insults at Western Imperialists? Are we to be a continent that award and honour those that pursue vengeful policies instead of Human Development policies?
That ZANU PF has been shamefully quiet on the dictatorship obtaining in Swaziland is a reality we ponder on when we try to reason the role of ruling former liberation movements in Africa. And that ZANU PF is a cause for the suffering of a lot of Zimbabweans should shame any Swazi political activist who even ponders on the act of cheering that shame that is taking place in Zimbabwe, because there is a similar shame taking place in Swaziland.
That  the then ZANU is yet to give humane reasons why the death of twenty thousand in Matabeleland was the better option because it would be curious to know if the leaders at ZANU had so run out of ideas at the time, and that wholesale murder of civilians was really the last option.
 It may seem like we are cheering our very demise, but didn’t we cheer to the point of hoarse voices when a boy of eighteen years was crowned to be a leader of one of the most developmentally challenged countries in the world. It may seem that we never learn.