Swaziland. The undemocratic regime’s oppression of political dissent continued, and there were signs of frustration in the regime over the growing popularity of the opposition among the population. The police were suspected of faking a series of fire bomb attacks, which were then used as grounds for arresting members of political parties and trade unions. The arrested were charged with terrorism.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Eswatini has a population of 1.136 million (2018). About 50 people were arrested by police ahead of a planned protest against the regime in September. They were later released and the demonstration was conducted in the country’s commercial center Manzini with demands for democratization. South African union activists were prevented from participating in the demonstration and deported.
Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini said after the protest that dissidents and foreigners who settled in Swaziland’s affairs should be punished with the traditional sipakatane, or bastinado, footwear bull. It means breaking the soles of your feet with a nail board. The opposition demanded that the government take back the statement and labeled it as a declaration of war against both Swaziland and foreigners.
Africa’s grandmothers called themselves a group that gathered in Swaziland in May to discuss how HIV and AIDS affected their lives. Grandmothers and grandmothers have been forced to bear a heavy burden in Africa’s AIDS disaster, when they have taken responsibility for orphaned grandchildren. The conference, which gathered around 500 women from 13 sub-Saharan countries, hoped to create a solidarity movement for Africa’s maternal and grandmothers. Over 70 percent of the world’s HIV and AIDS victims are in sub-Saharan Africa, and Swaziland has the highest HIV/AIDS incidence in the world. More than 42 percent of all pregnant women are reported to be HIV-infected. AIDS activists were upset when one of the King’s top advisers stated that the extent of the country’s HIV epidemic is exaggerated in favor of the drug companies.
According to softwareleverage, Swaziland’s highest court declared in a ruling in May that the government is not obliged to provide free schooling in the low school, even though this is provided for in the constitution. According to the court, free schooling is dependent on existing resources, but human rights organizations have argued that the government violates human rights when students have to pay fees and when those who cannot afford to pay are suspended from school. Four out of ten families in Swaziland live below the poverty line, while the absolute monarch and his court are wallowing in luxury.
In August, the country’s Justice Minister resigned after being accused of having a sexual relationship with one of King Mswati’s 13 wives.
History. – Now rejected by the British government itself any prospect of integration of the territory in South Africa (instead hoped for by the small but influential white minority), the process towards autonomy began in the 1960s. In August 1960 IJ Nquku founded, on the basis of a previous cultural association, the first political party, the Swaziland Progressive Party (SPP), in favor of autonomy and opposed to racial discrimination. More advanced positions, with the demand for independence and the opposition to all tribalism, were taken by the Ngwane National Liberatory Congress (NNLC), founded in 1963 by the doctor P. Zwane, already a member of the SPP; a group of white liberals formed the Swaziland Democratic Party (SDP). The NNLC supported the workers’ claims that emerged during the year, while the development of agricultural and mining production and infrastructures accelerated considerably (since 1964 a railway has crossed the town). A new constitution was introduced in 1963; in the elections in 1964, the 8 seats of the Legislative Council were assigned to the Imbokodvo, a party founded by King Sobhuza II (who took the throne in 1921) to defend his positions through the same democratic process: another 4 seats went to white settlers linked to the king. Even in the elections of 20 April 1967 for the Chamber of Deputies, thanks to the electoral system, the Imbokodvo won all the elective seats (another 6 deputies were designated by the king, who also fully controlled the Senate), while the NNLC, albeit with a fifth of the votes, he had no representation. Full internal autonomy (April 1967) was the
Conservative forces remained in power and strengthened after independence; when, in fact, in the 1972 elections the part of the NNLC remained loyal to Zwane (the other section had given itself a collegial direction) obtained three seats, an attempt was made to contest the result. Shortly after, in 1973, Sobhuza II, with the approval of Parliament, repealed the constitution and dissolved all the parties, also organizing a small army. In foreign policy, the independent Swaziland, which professes to be non-aligned and openly anti-Communist, has maintained, albeit through moments of conflict, good relations with South Africa, to which it is linked by significant economic agreements, and has obtained technical and financial aid. especially from Great Britain; but d ‘ the other part sought collaboration agreements with English-speaking African countries and with neighbors (in 1974 cordial relations were established with independent Mozambique). In March 1977 – while the constitution remained suspended, for which a special commission had presented proposals since 1975 – the king dissolved Parliament and introduced an electoral system on a tribal basis.