Swaziland

People in the Swaziland lowveld have died of hunger, a member of the Swazi Parliament has reported. Nkululeko Mbhamali, Matsanjeni North MP, said hunger was rife in his constituency and some people had died at Tikhuba. Crops have failed this year due to poor rains. Mbhamali said a ‘food-for-work’ scheme organised by World Vision that was supposed to distribute food supplied by overseas’ donors had not been implemented properly and many people were not receiving food.

Swaziland police fired tear gas and beat stone-throwing protesters, chasing some down into a hospital, after a demonstration held in support of teachers demanding higher wages. An Associated Press reporter saw the turmoil at the end of the march, in which about 2,000 parents and teachers wound their way from a park and bus station in Mbabane, the capital, to a labor court where judges were considering a demand by the government that leaders of a teachers' strike be arrested for contempt of co...read more

The Industrial Court in Swaziland has refused to allow the government to jail the entire executive of the teachers’ union for leading a pay strike. The Swazi Government had previously gained an order at the same court outlawing a strike over a 4.5 per cent pay claim. But, some members of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) went ahead with the indefinite strike. For the past week the strikers have been visiting schools where some teachers continue to work to persuade them to ...read more

Swaziland soldiers sprayed the house of the kingdom’s main opposition leader with bullets in what pro democracy activist believe was a planned attack. The home of Mario Masuku, President of the banned People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), at Makhosini near Nhlangano was hit by bullets fired by members of the kingdom’s army, known as the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force.

Opposition to next year’s national election in Swaziland is growing. Elections are held every five years and the next is due in 2013. But prodemocracy activists in Swaziland have been calling for a boycott. All political parties are banned and many opposition voices are silenced in the kingdom, ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. The latest call came from participants at a ‘People’s Parliament’ organised by the Swaziland Coalition of Concerned Civic Organisat...read more

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