About Us

Who, where and when?
SWADEPA was established September 24, 2011 by long-time veterans in the democracy movement with a background largely in the trade unions supplemented by other civil society institutions such as churches. The leaders of the party were amongst the architects behind a boycott-strategy that the democracy movement has pursued since 1993 with undemocratic elections being held every 5 years. However, with the approval of a new constitution in 2005, SWADEPA was set up in 2011 in trying to change the system from within by contesting the elections. Not substituting mass mobilization, but supplementing it.
Position in the political landscape
As an openly declared social democratic party, SWADEPA is the only Swazi party with a clear ideology. This is reflected in its strategy and policy platform.
SWADEPA is the new kid on the political block in Swaziland and places itself in between PUDEMO and NNLC and the conservative/royalist forces in Swaziland.
It applies a pragmatic strategy of constructive and engaging opposition to the regime, which both serves the purpose of securing its own political room for manoeuvring while demonstrating to the regime and to Swazi citizens that demands for democracy doesn’t necessarily imply radicalism, republicanism and an overhaul of the Swazi society and culture.

This is a balancing act in a context of political repression and recurring police brutality which bounds for extremist views. But SWADEPA considers this to be the right strategy – also keeping in mind that no other strategies have proven successful thus far.
SWADEPA is the voice of the people
SWADEPA has been significantly strengthened in the political spectrum of Swaziland after the elections in October 2013 where SWADEPA won several seats in Parliament and gained a significant number of Constituency Chairpersons (iNdvunaye yeNkhundla) and chiefdom representatives (Bucopho) to influence constituency and community political inclinations towards development through democracy.
SWADEPA is an important agent in the wider civil society in Swaziland with a strong representation in the Constituent Assembly, in the Swaziland National Youth Council, in Student Representative Councils, trade unions etc. Building on the boost from the election and the platform it provided, SWADEPA is today challenging the regime on a daily basis, promoting controversial agendas and pushing for changes of both an overall democratic character, but also policies containing improvements in socio-economic conditions for all Swazi’s, workers as well as unemployed, youth, old, men and women.
Thus, SWADEPA is advocating for real-life improvements today, that will gather support around the party, empower citizens and increase their understanding of the benefits of democracy in action – instead of exclusively advocating for the in itself rather abstract concept of democracy.
International relations
SWADEPA was admitted into the Socialist International as observer member in June/July 2014. Swadepa is also member of Progressive Alliance which comprises Social Democratic parties from all over the world.
The Danish Social Democratic Party, which is the largest party in the governing coalition in Denmark, has been engaged in a partnership with SWADEPA since 2012 funded through the Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy, DIPD.
The “overall objective in the cooperation is to manifest and strengthen SWADEPA’s position as a strong force pressuring for multi-party democracy in Swaziland”
To be a political party of choice that:
  • Guarantees multiparty democracy
  • Restores democracy and good governance,
  • Advocates for Dynamic Economic growth and sustainable development
  • Subscribes to Peace, Stability, Respect for the rule of law, Human rights, Civil Liberties and Equality.
  • Respecting culture, tradition and environment
  • Upholding the dignity of person and Social Justice in full respect to the principle of transparency and accountability to the electorate.
Our mission is to become the best political party:
  • Optimum adherence to democratic values,
  • Participatory policy formulation through dialogues and debates with stakeholders and concerned citizens.
  • Ensuring good corporate governance principles.
  • Efficient service delivery ,
  • Respecting fundamental rights and civil liberties,
  • Unequivocally subscribing to Separation of powers and equality before the law
  • Embarking on multi-pronged programs and strategies for the acquisition and insurance of sustainable economic and social development of the people, with full respect for the dignity of person.
Our values vest in serving people with respect, commitment, selflessness, honesty and integrity based on mutual trust, sensitive responsiveness and responsibility, whilst remaining accountable and transparent in our dealings with the issues of the electorate, debating and resolving all issues through meaningful result oriented dialogue:
  • Community development
  • Serving people with commitment and respect
  • Subscribes to selflessness, integrity, honesty, mutual trust and responsibility
  • Accountability and transparency



Groups of civil society constituencies emanating from the following groups:
  • The Church groups

  • The youth

  • Students.

  • Workers from different sectors

  • Informal sector traders

  • Small scale famers

  • Unemployed the retrenched, retired


The above groups have a broad based mixture i.e.
  • The academia

  • The traditionalists

  • Women

  • Youth

  • The elderly

  • What have motivated the people of Swaziland are the following Actions and reactions, omissions and commissions:

  • Corruption

  • Bad governance

  • Abuse of power

  • Abuse of culture

  • Disregard for the rule of law

  • Nepotism

  • Blind extravagance on national resources without accountability

  • Lack of fiscal discipline

  • Lack of economic policies

  • Lack of separation of powers

  • Flagrant violations of fundamental rights

  • Intolerance to the voices of dissent

  • Mass and malicious evictions of people

  • Banning of political parties and the acceptance of such situation by the existing political parties.

  • Abuse of culture as a tool of oppression and subjugation by the authorities

  • Lack of pro-poor budgeting as such priorities is not those which address the social concerns of the people.

  • Flagrant disregard and blatant violation of international treaties to whom Swaziland is party i.e.:

    • African charter on human and peoples’ rights

    • United Nations charter for human rights

    • Commonwealth Harare Declaration

    • SADC charters on Human and social rights

  • Lack of pluralism

  • Lack of genuine meaningful result oriented national dialogue which seeks to address the political agenda in Swaziland.

Outcomes of the perpetually continued bad governance:
  • Prevailing but otherwise avoidable Economic  crisis

  • Prevailing cash flow crisis

  • Prevailing ever increasing deficit

  • Prevailing ever increasing debt

  • Prevailing and decreasing foreign reserves

  • Prevailing threatened Lilangeni/rand parity

  • Prevailing constitutional crisis

  • Prevailing judicial crisis

  • Becoming a prospective IMF conditionality client

  • Lack of drugs in public health care centres

  • Shortage of scholarship for tertiary learners

  • Lack of funds for the Orphaned and the vulnerable children

  • Continued poverty levels

  • Increasing unemployment as companies shut down

  • Lack of funds to pay the pittance elderly grants.

Programme of action in response:
  • Salary/wage cuts by 10%for politicians

  • Proposed salary/wage cuts by 10% for all public servants including the armed forces except the army

  • Proposed retrenchments of the public service by 7000

  • Proposed improvement on the balance of payments

  • Reduction of scholarship allocation to tertiary learners

Peoples’ resultant decision:
  • Formed a political Party called the Swazi Democratic Party(SWADEPA)

Character of the Party:
  • Non-discriminatory, non-sexist, non-xenophobic, non-racist,  non-nepotic, people responsive and democratic.

Party’s beliefs:    
  • Respect for human rights, civil liberties and the dignity of person

  • Respect for the rule of law

  • Social justice

  • Equality before the law

  • Integrity

  • Honesty

  • Trustworthiness

  • Selflessness

  • Respect

  • Responsiveness to the call of the people

Pillars of our vision:
  • Respect for a constitutional monarchy and its local structures such as chiefs/traditional leaders, who should be revered and be placed above politics and be allowed to Reign and be regarded as symbols of unity and greater nationhood.

  • Separation of powers

  • Respect for culture and tradition as the identity of the Swazi nation.

  • Right to land entitlement

  • Job creation  affordable and accessible education for poverty alleviation redress,

  • Right to property