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IN response to “Al­liance ‘wor­ried’ over new SADC chair” ( Le­sotho Times, 1 Septem­ber 2016), I am deeply per­turbed by SADC’S de­ci­sion to ap­point King Mswati III as the bloc’s chair­per­son.

While it is true that the chair­per­son po­si­tion is re­volv­ing, it re­mains a fact that the ab­so­lute monarch does not es­pouse the ideals of good gov­er­nance and democ­racy SADC pur­ports to up­hold. His ap­point­ment bound to send shiv­ers down the spines of all those who are cam­paign­ing for re­form.

King Mswati III con­tin­ues to vi­o­late ba­sic free­doms and hu­man rights of the Swati peo­ple. There is no con­sti­tu­tional democ­racy in Swazi­land as elec­tions are not free and fair.

Sev­eral trade union­ists, jour­nal­ists and other civil so­ci­ety ac­tivists have been ha­rassed, tor­tured, beaten, ar­bi­trar­ily ar­rested, im­pris­oned and some with­out tri­als and worse some killed un­der mys­te­ri­ous cir­cum­stances and no action have been taken against the known po­lice per­pe­tra­tors. There are se­ri­ous re­stric­tions on free­doms of assem­bly, as­so­ci­a­tion and ex­pres­sion in Swazi­land.

A host of other hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions in­cludes pro­longed pre-trial de­ten­tions; in­ter­fer­ence with cit­i­zens pri­vacy, pro­hi­bi­tion on po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and harassment and ar­rests of po­lit­i­cal ac­tivists.

The peo­ple of Swazi­land have been sub­jected to un­told cru­elty, tor­ture, de­grad­ing and de­hu­man­iz­ing treat­ment at the hands of King Mswati III and his govern­ment.

the African Union and other agen­cies should con­demn this ap­point­ment and the di­rec­tion that King Mswati III is lead­ing his coun­try — to­wards eco­nomic and so­cial col­lapse.

Frank Talk.

SADC is just a tooth­less pa­per tiger. Ir­re­spec­tive of who the chair­per­son is, how can we ex­pect Mozam­bique, Zim­babwe, Mada­gas­car, Swazi­land, and South Africa to help us out? They are all not stable in one way or an­other. Not only King Mswati III but all the other SADC heads of states ex­cept Botswana have prob­lems in their re­spec­tive coun­tries.

Wa Kolo­jane.

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