SWADEPA Commemoration Speech
Updated: Oct 29, 2019
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I would at this point in time indulge you, to all stand up and observe a moment of silence in respect of the late heroes and heroines of the struggle, and before I mention the long list I will start with one of our own, our National treasurer the late Comrade Robert Makhanya may his soul rest in peace,
As a political party that appreciates every leader across the political divide, irrespective of affiliation who played a role in fighting for multiparty democracy in Swaziland, I will request that we also observe the moment of silence for the late leaders and combatants namely;
Dr. Ambrose Zwane and Prince Dumisa Dlamini both of NNLC, Domenic Mngometulu, Benedict “Didiza” Tsabedze and DR. Gabriel Mkumane of PUDEMO, Mxolisi Mbatha, Sam “Mbokodvo” Mkhonta, Donald ‘Mbiza” Dlamini and may I also add Miss Nomthetho Simelane, Obed Dlamini and Richard Nxumalo as stalwards of the SFTU, It would be a serious omission to leave out the one and only 16year old young Girl who met her death during the struggle for change waged by workers and SFTU in 1996, it would also be a grave Mistake if I left out the members of the Fourth estate, George Mthunzi Mabuza, Sabelo Masuku, Mandla “Tiger “Magagula, Sam Mbokodvo Lukhele and Vusi Ginindza to mention but a few may their souls rest in peace and may we the progressive do everything it takes to achieve the Swaziland they aspired and wished for. Amandla!!!!
Comrades, Colleagues and Compatriots, I find it very important to mention without fear or favour that, this is indeed a very important day in the political history of Swaziland since the banning of the political parties on the 12th of April, 1973 King’s Proclamation, this is the first political party commemoration to be held on the Swazi soil. We are also happy that we are the first political party to do this, since the promulgation of the constitution in 2005, and the advent of the 2018 Public Order Act.
From 1973 to 2018, the police you see here today, would have come to ensure that such a meeting is dispersed and crushed with all military might they had, but today they are here to ensure peace and order prevails as you have assembled to ensure that we freely express ourselves as the peoples of Swaziland. We attribute this to the struggles you all contributed towards the Popular 27 Demands programe.
SWADEPA regards this as a milestone and a ground breaking moment, for the entire progressive forces. we hope this marks the beginning of the respect for the Bill of rights as enshrined in chapter three of the constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland.
Comrades, colleagues and compatriots my main duty here today is to explain to all and sundry what SWADEPA is, why SWADEPA was formed, what SWADEPA hopes to achieve, what the vision and mission of SWADEPA is, and explain the Swaziland SWADEPA wants vis a vis the Swaziland we have today? And how SWADEPA hopes to achieve that, I also have to state what triggered our founding, what challenges have we faced thus far, and to state successes and opportunities if any.
Comrades, colleagues and compatriots, to successfully and chronologically achieve this mammoth task, I will start with our profile, then define the Swaziland we want to see, explain our definition for government.
The SWADEPA profile is as follows;
A political party of choice which is the game changer, the barrier breaker and change agent for the restoration of multiparty democracy in Swaziland.
We WERE established ON THE;
24th September, 2011
Our Objectives are;
1. To actualize and operationalize the bill of rights within the 2005 constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland.
2. To assist legislate statutes and policies that are in harmony with the supreme law, so that citizens and all who live in the country can enjoy the dictates of the bill of rights and civil liberties enshrined in the constitution in law, in practice and in spirit without fear, favour or prejudice
3. To make Swaziland a happy place for all who live in it without any form of discrimination
4. To develop economic policies that will enhance jobs and employment creation, by making Swaziland a preferred investor destination.
5. To improve the social welfare of the elderly and all the vulnerable groups
6. To ensure sustainable food security in the country through continuous adoption of modern but cost effective policies and programs
7. To ensure that quality education and health are a priority if the nation is to remain productive and competitive internationally, continentally and regionally.
Our method and tools of achieving these noble objectives is;
Through a peaceful result oriented genuine dialogue and participation in all policy and decision making forums; such as Sibaya, Community dialogues, smart partnerships, parliament to mention but a few.
A Swaziland that shall restore multiparty democracy and good governance, ensuring economic vibrancy, progress and sustainable development, peace, stability, respect for civil liberties whilst upholding human dignity and social justice.
SWADEPA envisions A Swaziland that is economically vibrant and competitive, technologically adaptive and compliant, socially just, culturally dynamic, politically peaceful, democratic and dialogue driven that respects the doctrine of the separation of powers, human rights, respect for the right to self-determination, the rule of law and social justice.
SWADEPA’s wish is,
To become the best political party in as far as democracy, good governance and service delivery is concerned by respecting fundamental rights, separation of powers and equality before the law.
SWADEPA values are bonded on;
Serving the people with respect, commitment, humility, selflessness, with integrity, deadline driven, team builder and team player, whilst remaining proactive and sensitive to the peoples’ issues, encouraging debate and conflict resolution through meaningful result oriented dialogue.
Character of the Party:
Non-discriminatory, non-sexist, non-xenophobic, non-racist, non-nepotism, people responsive and socially democratic
Our ideology is?
Social democratic ideology or if you like, you can call it capitalism with a human face
Mixed economy (NO to 100% privatization, NO to 100% nationalization YES to commensurate regulation that protects both the interests of business and the interests of all peoples of the country on the resources we all create.)
· Encouragement of public private partnership
· Encouragement of small and medium entrepreneur development
· Encouraging upgrading and formalization of informal economy
· Encouragement of laws and policies that have great potential to enhance jobs and employment creation
· Clear investment policy that creates certainty and assures investors to see Swaziland as an obvious destination and provide jobs that subscribes to the principles of decent work.
SWADEPA’s position with Monarchy is that,
Monarchy is good and should be revered above reproach and petty politics
It is tried and tested that Monarchy can co-exist with multiparty, and people to elect the government of their own choice through a regular, free, fair and multiparty oriented ballot box without denying individuals to stand on their own if they so wish.
SWADEPA’s Position with regards to culture is the following;
Culture is good
Culture defines a nation’s identity
Culture must be dynamic
Culture should not be used for selfish ends
Culture should not be imposed.
Culture should not be politicized
Culture should not be commercialized
Culture should not be privatized.
Culture belongs to the entire nation
SWADEPA on Property rights,
Believe in property rights
Believes there is urgent need for a well-defined policy on access to land and land ownership.
The short description of SWADEPA would be best stated as follows;
· Structurally democratic,
· Popularly participatory and mass based,
· People responsive,
· United in diversity
· Gender sensitive
· Culturally dynamic
· Monarchy Constitutional,
· Traditionally sensitive
· Human rights compliant
· Economically mixed-economy biased towards investor promotion, job creation and Public, private Partnerships
· Socially alert
· Environmentally friendly
· Zero tolerance to crime and corruption
· Politically plural, accountable and transparent
· Visionary Astute
· Deadline driven and development sensitive
· Agriculturally self-sufficient and food security adherent
· Internationally, continentally and regionally compliant to all treaties we are party to as a country.
Comrades, colleagues and compatriots,
We see ourselves as a creature of the constitution in an environment that had banned political parties for over three decades by a King’s decree of the 12th of April, 1973.
Comrades’ colleagues and compatriots, SWADEPA is a Swazi Social Democratic party, composed of workers, business, peasants, the academia, the intelligencia, and the informal sector. Youth, women, traditionalists, the Church, students, professionals, and business, the elderly and the marginalized peoples of Swaziland.
SWADEPA is proud to have established a partnership with the Social Democratic party (SDP) where-in in the last four years, through a wide range of activities such as capacity building, leadership training, mass mobilization and organizing, training of trainers, campaigning strategies, electioneering, exchange visits, we were able after 18 months of existence to contest elections in a politically hostile environment and won a few seats. Since establishment we have been able to organize and mobilize as such created over 32 active branches with several Zones and cells in all regions of the country. We have been able to set up a website, set up membership data base, produced a handbook.
SWADEPA is also a member of the socialist international and close associate with the international progressive alliance which has consultative status in the United Nations.
We are pleased that the Kingdom of Swaziland out of choice is also a member of almost all multilateral organizations such as the UN, The Commonwealth, The African Union, AGOA, ILO, COMESA, SACU and that as a nation we have enshrined in section 236 of our constitution willingness to comply to all international treaties we are signatories to.
SWADEPA believes that Eswatini as a member of the United Nations and a signatory to several treaties and bound by its resolutions we as a country remain out of line with the international resolution 275(a) With regards to One China resolution in our perpetual call for the sovereignty of the Taiwan, and this flies in the face of our national policy of non-interference with other nations sovereign issues, and this flies in the face of our constitution section 236, which says we shall comply with all international treaties and resolutions of the UN, Commonwealth, African Union, SADC and others.
SWADEPA believes in One China international resolution of the United Nations.
SWADEPA want to express its appreciation to the role played by His Majesty the King during his office term as the Chairperson of SADC particularly that in this period Swaziland ratified several international treaties. It now rests with government to comply with the so that Swaziland remains relevant with the dictates of the international community. It is also good to mention that during his Chairperson era, Lesotho was able to resolve its political impasse which gives us hope that we shall also be able to address internal political issues through dialogue.
And this shows beyond any shadow of doubt that the King knows through his wide political exposure nationally, regionally and internationally, to sit down with political parties and facilitate dialogue for peace in those multiparty democratic countries and this guarantees us that the institution of the Monarchy can co-exist with political parties.
This is very important to us in particular since our theme of the day is “multiparty democracy through dialogue Now!!!
In the four years of our participation in parliament, we have been able to raise pertinent issues such as
· Bringing issue of women representation in parliament
· We’ve called for freedom of expression for the politicians over the public broadcaster.
· We’ve called for government to declare draught as a national disaster.
· We called upon government to sustainably avail drugs in public health centers;
· We called for government to provide school food supplies immediately after supplies dwindled.
· Called for unbanning of workers and employers federations.
· Bringing issues of the separation of powers
· Brought issues of elderly grants
· Currently dealing with Sexual Offences and Domestic violence Bills and that of the people living with disabilities.
· Bringing issues of increased and improved scholarship
· Sharpened the parliament oversight role.
· Persistently called for the increase to the elderly grants
· Passed a law that registers domestic workers
· Passed workmen’s compensation act for the domestic workers
· Passed a law that unbans employer and worker federations
· Passed several bills into law that responded to the benchmarks of the ILO and AGOA to mention but a few
We are proud to unreservedly state that without the support of other members of parliament who are not members of the party, we would not have achieved these unprecedented milestones in parliament.
Our social democratic ideology is informed by our definition of government which we define as a social contract between the governed and the governing, where the governed is a mandate giver and through their taxes a paymaster to the governing as such government should serve the people the way a servant serves their master.
Background Political situational analysis;
· Was independent in 1968
· Was Multi party before independence
· Was Multi party 5 years after independence
· The 1968 allowed the King to co-exist with political parties
· The King Reigned and Government ruled.
· In 1973 the King Declared a State of Emergency which introduced the:
· Banning of political parties
· Revoked the 1968 constitution
· Banned the Bill of rights
· Banning of workers right to assemble before prior permission by the commissioner of police
· It introduced 60 days detention without trial.
· SWADEPA continues the call for a multiparty dispensation through an all-inclusive national peaceful deadline driven and result oriented dialogue.
· Calls for urgent registration of political parties.
· Ensure compliance with all international treaties and conventions to keep the national image high.
· To provide business financial starter packs with mentoring and guaranteed markets to the youth with entrepreneurial skills until they are strong to stand on their own.
· Aggressively promote buy Swazi.
· Provide policies that will make Swaziland an obvious investor destination, particularly in manufacturing and mining sectors to enhance job creation and economic growth.
· Ensure compliance to all trade agreements so as to sustainably retain all markets such as EU, AGOA and many others.
· Government to avoid investing in capital projects do not add value to the country but only drain the national purse such as the Swazi airways project and others.
· Government to ensure that all funds budgeted for RDF and MICRO PROJECTS are disbursed timeously to enhance the desired service delivery to the ordinary peoples of Swaziland.
· SWADEPA calls for improved social grants for the elderly and people living with disabilities.
· Affordable and accessible quality education
· Integrated education system that takes into account life skills and that dovetails vocational training
· Develop sports in all sporting disciplines to a level that it can produce professionals
· To keep youth in the employment streamline by establishing a mandatory intern intake in all government ministries, departments and parastatals for those not admitted into the tertiary and encourage that private sector does the same.
· Establish a national minimum wage that shall be determined by research ensuring that it can afford every working person at minimum wage to be able to access basics.
· Establish cooperatives for all informal sector workers for self-sufficiency and sustainable economic advancement.
· Government to address basic people’s issues as a matter of priority such as gravel roads maintenance, rural electrification, and clean water coverage.
· Government to up their game in service delivery to the people.
· Government to remunerate traditional structures such as chiefs and their inner councils.
· To remunerate community police and care givers.
· Government to ensure sustainable availability of quality drugs in all public health centres.
· Government to ensure sustainable availability of food supplies in all public schools
· Government to address the continued acute shortage of passports in the home affairs
Jan J. Sithole