Swaziland

Swaziland Members of Parliament say they are being banned from the radio airwaves by the government. They say it is because of a policy made by the Swazi Cabinet. A row erupted in the House of Assembly when MPs accused Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini of keeping them off the airwaves. In Swaziland broadcasting is state controlled and the PM is editor-in-chief of the SBIS radio stations and the Swazi TV Channel.

One of Swaziland’s most vocal pro-democracy groups has called for a new law to ban hate speech against homosexuals. The call by the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) follows a debate in the Swazi House of Assembly in which MP Aaron Sotsha Dladla called for gays and lesbians to be outlawed in the kingdom. Dladla said a new law should be put in place to deal with ‘this mushrooming anti-social’ behaviour of gays and lesbians. He went on to make a number of disparaging comments about homosexuals.

Swaziland’s government has failed to improve the economy in any appreciable way and cannot pay its bills. This means immediate public expenditure cuts are needed if the government is to meet the budget targets it set itself in February 2012. These are the latest findings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has just finished a visit to Swaziland.

The plight of women in Swaziland is far from over as parliamentarians opposed the protection of women from stalking. Senators were discussing the longstanding Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Bill of 2000. The proposed law seeks to protect among others women from unlawful stalking. The senators argued that stalking was part of social cultural norms hence proscribing it will violate the culture of Swazis.

The on-going political crisis in Swaziland shows ‘the king continues to enjoy almost absolute control over the country,’ Freedom House has said. The House of Assembly passed a vote of no-confidence in the government and according to the Swazi Constitution King Mswati III should have sacked the government, but he did not. Instead, pressure was put on members of the House and after 12 days of uncertainty they reversed the decision in a controversial vote. Freedom House in a statement said the a...read more

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