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.
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.