PUDEMO STATEMENT ON THE RECENT RAID OF OUR PRESIDENT AND THE ARREST OF OUR YOUTH LEAGUE MEMBER
Friends and compatriots we report today that our President, Mario Masuku, was this morning raided by police officers and most of his documents confiscated. This comes in the wake of reports that the police have been on a clampdown on our members, engaging in wanton arrests and harassment of our youth league members in particular. This subsequently led to the arrest of Thokozani Dlamini of Ekwendzeni.
Dlamini was detained for the entire week and secretly hauled at the High court where he was officially charged with Terrorism and remanded into custody. Efforts by our youth league to have him see a lawyer was thwarted by the police. Nothing new there.
Our President, on the other hand, was woken up by armed to the teeth police officers who turned everything up and down at his homestead in Mbabane. He was subjected to the most harrowing experience of his life; intimidation, harassment and being ridiculed in front of his family. We note with great concern that this happens to a country that is fast degenerating to a state of emergency and police state. This happens while the head of state was wining and dinning with democratically elected heads of state during the official opening of the World Cup in South Africa.
Our President is a known enemy of the state having been arrested and charged with everything from High Treason to Sedition and now Terrorism. In all these instances he has come out victorious, something that seemingly has not gone down well with Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini who is toying around with the idea of reviving the non bailable offences Law.
Against all evidence of a country in crisis, SADC has remained quiet while stroking the ego of the monarchy by turning a blind eye to these atrocities.
We are again alarmed that the pseudo political party and state collaborationist Sibahle Sinje, is now on the media, calling for everyone to condemn violence while parachuted themselves as standing on the moral high ground. We can’t believe it is Sibahle Sinje saying this. We can’t help but ask ourselves; where was Sibahle Sinje when we were unfairly proscribed as a terrorist entity? What did they say? What did they say when unionist and patriot Sipho Jele died? We heard nothing from them when Workers day was disturbed by police officers. Their silence is too loud when Swaziland Democracy Campaign leaders are harassed and abused by police for merely being democracy activists. It therefore came as a surprise to us when they woke up from their slumber to demand that the whole world must run like headless chickens simply because the ‘master’ has spoken. Sibahle Sinje would best be advised to continue collaborating in the plundering of the economy and their soft reprimand of the regime while we, together with the democracy loving masses, continue our peaceful struggle for democracy in our life time.
As PUDEMO we are unequivocal in condemning violence and have openly challenged the regime to the round table for negotiations. For this we have been labelled terrorists, beaten, maimed, dehumanised, forced into exile and sanctioned economically in our own country. Our genuine commitment to peaceful struggle and none violence has been met by brutal force and harassment. When ordinary people of Swaziland decide to give the regime a taste of their own medicine (violence) organisations like Sibahle, who have a history of standing on the side of the oppressor, scream blue murder. We view this as hypocrisy of the worse order. Right now the regime plants its agents to bomb people’s homes so that they can marshal public sympathy in their escapades to harass, torture and induce fear to the masses. This is done so that they can set the right environment for a final onslaught on our members. It is hoped that this would justify the state labelling us terrorists. But the regime had not prepared enough for what was to happen after the bombing of comrade Alex LaNgwenya’s house at Bhunya—public opinion turned and people began to see a dangerous regime on a rampage. We are encouraged that the people see these latest bombings for what they are; a state creation to induce fear, a pivotal weapon in their quest to throttle us all into submission. But the Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini should know by now that PUDEMO will never die because the people are PUDEMO and PUDEMO is the people. Our ideology lives and our membership is swelling. We will continue to call for dialogue while encouraging the international community, particularly the South African government to do more to foster dialogue in the country. We have demonstrated in the past our willingness to engage this regime and create a real democratic society but our willingness to create a stable, peaceful and democratic Swaziland has been shown the middle finger by the regime. We advise the Prime Minister that no amount of draconian legislation and reviving of the non bailable offenses law will stop the people of Swaziland from attaining their long desired freedom. We also would like to say that our youth league member who has been arrested and charged with Terrorism is innocent until proven guilty. He is a victim of the police’s fertile imagination and we know the general public does not at all believe that PUDEMO or its youth wing has anything to do with these bombings.
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