This tag is associated with 15 posts

Challenge and repression in Swaziland

Understandably, many Swazi citizens are not happy with the current state of affairs: weak and declining economy; world’s worst AIDS epidemic; falling government revenue from customs union; greedy king flying private jets. Same old story gets worse, but political mobilization does seems to be on the rise. The 9000 members of the national teachers union … Continue reading

More repression in Swaziland

As reported in the Times of Swaziland, armed soldiers roamed through Mbabane today, with the clear intent of repressing any attempts to demonstrate against the regime. In a statement issued by Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini in the afternoon, “national security agents have been instructed to protect life and property against any protest action planned … Continue reading

Avoiding a twitter revolution in Swaziland

Various scholars and analysts will continue to debate the role of social media within the Arab Spring. But Swaziland’s King Mswati III isn’t taking any chances: According to the M&G, he’s planning to ban criticism on facebook and twitter. I am guessing that the little kingdom state probably doesn’t have the capacity to track down … Continue reading

Swaziland Students to Protest tomorrow

Not willing to let the Swazi economic and political crisis to persist unchallenged, the Swaziland National Union of Students has planned demonstrations for tomorrow (Weds, March 21). Among other things, they will protest a 60 percent cut in government allowances. M&G and Newstime Africa report that students feel the allowance cuts will make higher education … Continue reading

Coke, Taxes, and Dictatorship in Swaziland

First off, the coke of which I speak is the cola varietal, not the white powder. The Swaziland Democracy Campaign has accused the Coca-Cola company of propping up King Mswati III by maintaining its largest African manufacturing plant within the borders of the Kingdom. Interestingly enough, Coke moved to Swaziland from neighboring South Africa in … Continue reading

The Silent Crisis that is Swaziland

So here are the facts on Swaziland: it’s a land-locked Southern African country with the highest HIV prevalence on Earth. About 1.1 million people live in this Kingdom country, the only fully autocratic, hereditary monarchy left on the planet. Earlier this year, profound budget shortfalls led to service cuts and requests for new loans from … Continue reading

Swaziland on verge of implosion?

When I last wrote about the state of the Swazi economy, the government was scrambling to stay afloat. The situation has continued to deteriorate and the Mail & Guardian reports that a recent IMF mission deems the current crisis has reached a “critical stage.” Although the government recently pulled together enough money to pay government … Continue reading

Swazi situation worsens

The situation in Swaziland continues to worsen — although the South African government was willing to bail out the landlocked monarchy, pro-democracy protestors in both countries are complaining about the lack of insistence of stronger controls on human rights reforms associated with its recent loan. As a result, the King is looking to places like … Continue reading

South African Unions join Swazi Democracy Protests

This week almost 50 members of South Africa’s largest labor organization, the Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (COSATU),  joined pro-democracy protests in Swaziland (Sowetan). Following SA’s recent bailout of the Swazi government, interest has grown in the political situation of the tiny kingdom neighbor. And for all sorts of good reasons, organized labor has … Continue reading

Should South Africa bail out Swaziland?

Should democratic governments that value human rights and civil liberties provide financial assistance to autocracies in times of dire need? It’s a catch-22: If they don’t, citizens may suffer because of possible reductions in services and financial stability. If they do, they may prop up that government at a time when it is likely to … Continue reading

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