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Saturday, August 29

  1. msg why? message posted why? what is the real reason for this?
    what is the real reason for this?
    10:51 am

Saturday, February 21

  1. msg meaning message posted meaning Yini kudlukuta
    Yini kudlukuta
    12:41 pm

Saturday, December 13

  1. page BOMB SCARE AT CABINET Dec 10, 2014 edited BY SIBUSISO ZWANE Times of Swaziland MANZINI – Everyone was evacuated from the Cabinet offices f…
    Times of Swaziland
    MANZINI – Everyone was evacuated from the Cabinet offices following a bomb scare last Monday afternoon, a day before the weekly Cabinet meeting, which is usually held on Tuesdays.
    Information gathered was that an unknown person called one of the security officers based at Hospital Hill last week Monday at about 6pm and claimed that there was a bomb in the building, without specifying the exact location of the explosive.
    The source said the security officer notified some senior officers and there was panic as the undisclosed number of staff members, who were in the building at that time, were evacuated.
    It was gathered that the senior staff members then reported the matter to the police who promptly responded by sending a team comprised of officers from the Bomb Disposal and Dog Units to the scene.
    “The police sent over 10 Bomb Disposal and Dog Units officers to the scene to scan the building. However, after a thorough search, they failed to locate the said bomb and it was then that they believed that the whole thing was a hoax,” the source said.
    Government Spokesperson Percy Simelane also confirmed the incident.
    “Cabinet meets on Tuesdays normally, so the ministers were not at Hospital Hill when the incident, which later turned to be hoax, was reported,” he said.
    Simelane preferred not to comment further on the matter.
    He, however, stated that it was the National Commissioner of Police, Isaac Magagula, who could decide to upgrade security at Hospital Hill if there was a need.

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Tuesday, February 25

  1. page USA to Swaziland ‘Fully’ comply or lose AGOA 23 Feb 2014 edited USA to Swaziland: ‘Fully’ comply or lose AGOA BY WELCOME DLAMINI Swazi Observer The message f…

    USA to Swaziland: ‘Fully’ comply or lose AGOA
    Swazi Observer
    The message from the Americans is loud and clear: Swaziland has to ‘fully’ comply with five conditions or lose their eligibility to participate in the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) programme.
    The message from the Americans is loud and clear: Swaziland has to ‘fully’ comply with five conditions or lose their eligibility to participate in the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) programme.
    In an exclusive interview on Friday, United States of America Ambassador to Swaziland Makila James said there was no longer any room for negotiations with the kingdom on the conditions that have to be met.
    Listing the conditions, she said they include full passage of amendments to the Industrial Relations Act; full passage of amendments to the Suppression of Terrorism Act (STA); full passage of amendments to the Public Order Act; full passage of amendments to sections 40 and 97 of the Industrial Relations Act relating to civil and criminal liability to union leaders during protest actions; and establishing a code of conduct for the police during public protests.
    Not some, but all of the conditions have to be met for Swaziland to continue enjoying the preferential trade agreement with the USA, the ambassador emphasised.
    Contextualising the conditions, Ambassador James said: “The Industrial Relations Act did not provide for the registration of labour federations.
    The Swaziland government has had this issue on its plate for several years. We understand that the Industrial Relations Act is now being looked at by government as a Bill was tabled in parliament by the Ministry of Labour this week, but the amendments have to be passed fully to allow for labour unions to work collectively to improve workers’ rights.”
    On amending the STA and Public Order Act, she said: “These are equally important because even if federations are registered, the question remains whether or not citizens and workers will be allowed to have peaceful public gatherings without interference by the police?
    Amendments to these two pieces of legislation should allow for a process of transparency and objectivity in deciding how people can come together for public gathering. As the law is currently interpreted, any public gathering can be stopped, as has happened in the past. We are concerned because this interpretation negatively impacts the rights of labor unions and members of the public to gather to hold May Day celebrations and other meetings to talk about conditions of employment and other issues which affect the economy broadly.”
    The ambassador then articulated the need to get amend sections 40 and 97 of the Industrial Relations Act.
    “Civil and criminal liability are of concern because they seek to punish labour leaders for the actions of other people. It is a violation of international law to hold people accountable for actions that they themselves do not commit. There are many models of acceptable language to control security threats but these pieces of legislations in their current form are overly broad.”
    On police conduct, James articulated: “There is a need to give police better guidance so they can do proper law enforcement. No one can say Swaziland, just like any other country, has no right to have reasonable limits on behavior that can be threatening but right now the law is overly broad.’
    The ambassador said throughout the 2013 calendar year, the United States had seen little progress by Swaziland on any of the five conditions.
    “The assessment by the U.S government is that of great concern that Swaziland has not made any progress between December 2012 and December 2013.”
    However, she said when the AGOA review came in December last year Swaziland was given an extension period up until May 15, 2014 because it was realised that the kingdom’s government was in transition; with a new parliament and Cabinet coming in.
    “It was decided that Swaziland should be given a small period in which to finalise action on these critical issues with the new government in place.
    That was the reason for not deciding in December 2013 that Swaziland was ineligible. The new period goes on up to May 15, which is an important date because at that point a U.S inter-agency committee in Washington D.C. will reconvene to look at whether Swaziland has fully complied with the five elements.”
    The ambassador continued: “If the determination is that Swaziland has not complied, On May 16, Swaziland will become ineligible to remain in the AGOA programme.”
    If Swaziland becomes ineligible, exporting goods to the U.S under AGOA will continue until the end of the calendar year.
    “But on January 1, 2015, goods coming into the United States from Swaziland will be assessed duty because there will no longer be a trade preference to allow them duty-free entry,” added James.
    Close to 20 000 workers stand to lose their jobs should Swaziland be kicked out of AGOA because investors would close business and seek to open shop in countries which are still eligible for the programme.
    Swaziland has been enjoying benefits of the AGOA programme since the year 2000.
    Brief Q&A
    Sunday Observer: What has the Swaziland government taken to address these concerns?
    Ambassador James: I have had extensive, high-level engagement with the government of Swaziland to raise these concerns and to hear from them. Generally, the position of the government is that they appreciate and support the AGOA programme.
    They would like to keep the programme in Swaziland and that they will try and comply with the criteria for remaining eligible.
    That has been their consistent line to me since I arrived in Swaziland. But as we say, when the rubber hits the road is – what are they doing specifically, and I have just articulated to you that since December 2012 to now we have not seen the actions matching the assertions of intent and their desire to see the programme remain in Swaziland.
    And so, I would have to say that the Swaziland government needs to demonstrate through deeds, through concrete actions, its level of commitment because they have indeed expressed strong support for the programme.
    Sunday Observer: According to your own assessment, will Swaziland meet these conditions?
    Ambassador James: Let me say I was very pleased this week to see the minister of labour table in parliament an amendment to the Industrial Relations Act; this is one of the things that must be done.
    But there are at least five elements that must be fully complied with and so I will reserve judgment because I think the goal for all of us between now and May 15, 2014 is to work as hard and diligently as possible to meet the terms.
    We stand ready as the mission to be helpful where we can. If the government makes the commitment and is doing all it can, we will dutifully monitor how they are progressing and ensure that Washington is fully aware, but it really rests with the government to make serious, diligent and expeditious efforts to comply because deadline is coming very soon.
    Sunday Observer: Say Swaziland meets some of the conditions, but not all of them, will that be a problem still?
    Ambassador James: Because we have had this conversation not one, not two but several years going back, there is a great concern and great frustration that we have been extremely tolerant of the obstacles and challenges within Swaziland to meet some of these conditions. But it is important that Swaziland now understands that we are at a very critical point where they must meet all of the conditions and that is a very clear message that I hope the government will fully appreciate and will take on board.
    We are at a point where on May 15, 2014, the assessment will be – has Swaziland met these conditions?
    Sunday Observer: Have you engaged labour organisations regarding this matter?
    Ambassador James: Yes, we have. We believe that as an embassy it is important to talk to all stakeholders. And so, we have talked to labour unions; have talked to workers; have talked to the private sector; and have talked to exporters who are currently using the AGOA programme.
    They have talked to us and they have sent was their opinions. And so we believe we are giving the same message to everyone, which is:
    If you care about AGOA remaining in this country, you should work with government to help them but it is really up to the government to create the conditions to remain eligible.

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Monday, November 11

  1. page HUMAN TRAFFICKING SHAME Nov 10, 2013 edited BY MDUDUZI MAGAGULA MBABANE - Swaziland is a source, destination, and transit country for women a…
    MBABANE - Swaziland is a source, destination, and transit country for women and children who are subjected to trafficking for sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and forced labour in agriculture.
    Swazi girls, particularly orphans, are subjected to sex trafficking and domestic servitude in the cities of Mbabane and Manzini, as well as in South Africa, Mozambique and the United States.
    Some Swazi women are forced into prostitution in South Africa and Mozambique after voluntarily migrating in search of work.
    This is an analysis by the Trafficking of Persons Report 2013 where Swaziland was classified on the second tier in terms of human trafficking.
    This classification means the country had in place most of the legislation to prevent the trafficking of humans but failed in the implementation of same.
    According to the report, traffickers force Mozambican women into prostitution in Swaziland, or transit Swaziland with their victims on their way to South Africa.
    It also said Mozambican boys migrate to Swaziland to work as car washers, livestock herding and portering. Some of these boys subsequently become victims of forced labour.
    The report which was published recently by the Government of the United States of America also claimed that Swazi chiefs coerce children and adults, through threats and intimidation, to work in their fields.
    “Swazi boys and foreign children are forced to labour in commercial agriculture and market vending within the country.”
    “Traffickers appear to utilise Swaziland as a transit country for transporting foreign victims from beyond the region to South Africa for forced labour; in 2011, Swazi authorities intercepted several transiting Indian nationals and, in 2012, a few cases of Ugandan and Chinese nationals.”
    It also reports that during the year, a young Nigerian woman and two Mozambican boys were discovered in forced labour in market vending.
    The report also suggests that labour brokers fraudulently recruit and charge excessive fees to Swazi nationals for work in South African mines - means often used to facilitate trafficking crimes.
    “Swazi men in border communities are also recruited for forced labour in South Africa’s timber industry,” reads the report in part.
    It says the government of Swaziland does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.
    During the year, government initiated prosecution of two suspected trafficking offenders and recalled a Swazi diplomat from an overseas posting for alleged trafficking complicity.
    Police and immigration officials intercepted nine potential foreign victims in 2012, though they failed to identify or investigate cases involving Swazi victims.
    Moreover, government failed to train any of its officials, including law enforcement personnel, on existing legislation and indicators for victim identification, which stymied investigations and prosecutions.
    During the previous reporting period (2012), government allegedly failed to provide adequate shelter and support for victims following their identification, which led to the deportation of six victims in 2011; this deficiency was again highlighted in 2012, when additional victims were not provided sufficient shelter and services—increasing their vulnerability to revictimisation.
    While the anti-trafficking task force and its secretariat continued to guide anti-trafficking efforts, a lack of funds hindered progress on all fronts, especially with regard to the provision of adequate protection to victims.
    Sicelo Dlamini, Head of the Swaziland Task Force against Human Trafficking, confirmed that human trafficking in the country was rife and had affected the country’s standing internationally.
    He said in its efforts to address the problem, the country established a task force about seven months ago with the aim of addressing the problem.
    Dlamini said the task force would among other things work hard to improve the country’s standing by addressing trafficking which he said at times went undictated because of lack of education.
    “Our aim is to have Swaziland removed from countries listed as high-risk for human trafficking. I am happy to say we have improved tremendously since we were established a few months ago,” he said.

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  2. page Mswati props up throne with family, friends Nov 10, 2013 edited Mswati props up throne with family, friends November 10 2013 at 03:12pm By Titus Gwebu Mbaban…

    Mswati props up throne with family, friends
    November 10 2013 at 03:12pm
    By Titus Gwebu
    Mbabane - Swaziland’s King Mswati put his eldest daughter, brothers and sisters, family members, political loyalists and traditionalists in top government positions this week when he appointed his band of palace advisers, the Liqoqo.
    The group ran Swaziland before Mswati’s installation and sets national policy as well as advises the king on the suppression of pro-democracy forces.
    “It is important to understand not just that King Mswati runs Swaziland, but also who influences policy. The king’s cabinet ministers are functionaries who carry out the will of the palace advisers.
    “The appointment of the king’s daughter is important, because it shows that, rather than reaching out for new ideas, the king wants to surround himself with a more cloistered and like-thinking group that will rule Swaziland by putting the interests of the monarchy first,” said Charles Dlamini, a political commentator and blogger who follows Swazi politics.
    An absolute monarch, who forbids political opposition to his rule, Mswati said he considered members of the Swazi parliament not lawmakers, but his “advisers”.
    While the rest of the world assumes that the Swazi prime minister is head of the government, as in other countries, Mswati refers to his prime minister as “a boy who works for the king”. The king always appoints a male family member to be prime minister.
    Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini, appointed to a fourth term last week, praised the king for permitting parliamentary elections and for his commitment to the development and welfare of the Swazi nation.
    At the swearing in of the cabinet, at which each minister took an oath dedicating himself or herself not to the constitution or the people, but to the king, Dlamini announced a new national slogan or “brand”, as he called it, to be used for marketing: “Swaziland: Africa’s New Promise.”
    “Those who question His Majesty’s appointments are just jealous malcontents. His Majesty is the sun who gives us life, and we are insects beneath his toes,” said Joseph Ncamphalala, a senior member of the traditional warrior regiments who participate in national pageants.
    Swaziland’s two newspapers commented favourably on the prime minister’s reappointment and reported the king’s other appointments without criticism or comment. “Especially the palace counsellor, their appointments are never questioned. The Swazi people are very passive about things beyond our control,” said Dorothy Tsabedze, a copy editor in Manzini.
    Like any monarchy, those closest to the king exert the greatest influence on governing decisions. The Liqoqo works out of Lozitha Palace. Their deliberations, which are never publicly released, determine matters that are executed by palace-appointed cabinet ministers 30km away in Mbabane.
    The king appointed his eldest daughter, Princess Sikhanyiso, 26, to join eight other princes and princesses on the Liqoqo royal advisory council. The other 14 members included two chiefs and several traditionalists, two other family members, including two brothers Mswati previously appointed as prime ministers, and long-standing loyalists.
    “Princess Sikhanyiso has never worked in her life, although nominally she is a police officer. She was appointed to the force in 2010.
    “She also sits on the board of MTN-Swaziland, the only mobile phone company in the country. King Mswati is reported to have a substantial personal investment in MTN,” wrote political analyst Richard Rooney in his Swazi Media blog this week.
    A second group of royal advisers, the Ludzidzini Council which advises the queen mother at her Ludzidzini residence, were appointed this week. Three princesses and three chiefs will join traditionalists and two evangelical preachers on the Ludzidzini Council. Two Swazi evangelical leaders were also appointed to the Liqoqo council, reflecting the palace’s alliance with the pro-monarchy local evangelical movement.
    At religious festivals held at Lozitha Palace, invited preachers quote Biblical passages as proof that all countries should be ruled by kings, that democracy is ungodly, and that citizens of democracies will not be admitted to heaven.
    This week Mswati also appointed two of his brothers to head the Land Management Board that must approve the sale and registration of all land in the country. He appointed another brother, a chief and two key loyalists as regional administrators to oversee the affairs of Swaziland’s four regions.
    Mswati also rewarded loyalists with appointments on the Board Restoration Committee, which is tasked with obtaining large sections of South Africa for incorporation into Swaziland.
    “South Africa has never acknowledged the Swazi king’s territorial claims to Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. King Mswati wants to control all areas in Mpumalanga where Swazis reside and wants to extend Swaziland eastward to the Indian Ocean, taking all of KwaZulu-Natal that’s in the way,” said Alicia Khumalo, a real estate agent in Mpumalanga who is Swazi by heritage.
    Political observers feel that Swaziland is more likely to be incorporated into South Africa one day than King Mswati is likely to double the size of his realm by expanding into South Africa. However, the Border Adjustment Committee is an ideal way for the king to reward friends, hand out lucrative posts to family members and to keep quiet former government officials who know too much about the way Swaziland is run.
    “The irony is that the king’s body, that wants thousands of kilometres of South Africa and a few million South Africans to live in Swaziland under King Mswati, is paid for by South Africa. Seventy percent of government revenue comes from Swaziland’s allocation of South African Customs Union receipts, courtesy of South Africa,” Dlamini said.
    Independent Foreign Service

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Saturday, November 9

  1. page ‘RESTORE POLITICAL PARTIES TO CO-EXIST WITH MONARCH’ nov 8, 2013 edited BY CYPRIAN MAMBA MANZINI – Government has been called to restore the existence of political parti…
    MANZINI – Government has been called to restore the existence of political parties to co-exist with the institution of the monarchy.
    This has been a call by the Lawyers for Human Rights Swaziland (LHRS) and Swaziland Coalition of Concerned Civic Organisations (SCCCO) urging the African Commission to pressure the country to allow recognition of political parties and respect human rights.
    This transpired yesterday during a breakfast meeting held at The George Hotel convened by both organisations. The organisations were giving feedback to stakeholders on their presentations at the October 2013, 54th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) in Banjul, The Gambia.
    The Swazi civil society delegation to the ACHPR constituted of Sipho Gumedze who is Secretary General of LHRS, President Maxwell Nkambule and Lomcebo Dlamini from Women and Law in Swaziland (WLSA).
    The Swazi delegation called upon the commission to urge go-vernment to ratify the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, convene an all-inclusive national dialogue aimed at normalising the political environment in the country and establish the restoration of a multi-party democratic dispensation that co-existed in harmony with the institution of the monarchy.
    “The country needs to urgently put in place enabling legislation for the unequivocal unbanning, recognition, registration and operationalisation of political parties in the country. Desist from the harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders and political activists (and their families) who are working towards promoting democracy and good governance and the interference with their work and communications,” read the statement.
    Lomcebo Dlamini, making a presentation during the meeting, said the ACHPR was an organ of the African Union charged with protecting and promoting human rights as well as the interpretation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which was adopted by the then Organisation of African Union (OAU) in 1987.
    Swaziland ratified the Charter in 1995. She said once a State had ratified an instrument such as the charter, there was an obligation for it to implement it and to report on progress every two years, which was not the case with Swaziland.

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Sunday, September 29

  1. page A NEW ‘GUNDWANE’ FOR LUDZELUDZE Sept 22, 2013 edited 22/09/2013 01:01:00 BY CYPRIAN MAMBA Swazi Times LUDZELUDZE – The people of Ludzeludze Inkhundl…
    22/09/2013 01:01:00 BY CYPRIAN MAMBA
    Swazi Times
    LUDZELUDZE – The people of Ludzeludze Inkhundla say they have elected their own ‘Gundwane’ in Bambumuzi Sithole as their new Member of Parliament (MP).
    Gundwane is the well-known Member of Parliament for Siphofaneni Inkhundla who has been in office for three sequential terms.
    Ironically, he was re-elected again on Friday and will be going back for a fourth term.
    Celebrations characterised by shouting dancing and singing erupted immediately after the counting of Sithole’s votes which stood at 2 130 while the second best candidate Vusi Swane got 1 730 votes.
    Vote counting was concluded at 11:15 am yesterday following Friday voting which ended at 6pm.
    Sithole, who hails from Mbekelweni chiefdom was competing with eight others among which was former Member of Parliament Nonhlanhla Dlamini who came position three with 1 047 votes. Sithole was described by his followers as their own ‘Gundwane’.
    “Others who wish to go to Parliament should now forget,” said one of Sithole’s jubilant supporters.
    “We have now elected waya-waya (non-stop) MP. This is Ludzeludze’s Gundwane. Even when his term to office comes to an end we will re-elect him again and again. He is a good man and loves people. He gives us his water for free. He has a borehole in his homestead and allows anyone to come fetch water for free. He pays our children’s school fees.”
    Referring to Sithole as Gundwane comes as a repeal to what the constitu-ency’s former MP Nonhlanhla Dlamini was recently heard saying during one of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) led campaigns in that she said she did not want to be like Gundwane who has continuously served as a Member of Parliament.
    Dlamini had indicated that she intended to be the constituency’s MP for the last time. Even though the counting was not completed when Sithole’s votes were announced it was obvious that he had triumphed over the rest as the piles of ballot papers remaining for the other aspiring MPs were much smaller than his thus his followers instantly marched out to celebrate his victory. Police had to spread around the premises in efforts to control the over hundred people who had waited all night long to witness their favourite candidate win.
    In an interview Sithole said he was elected probably because of his personality. “I am the people’s person who share with them their poverty and joy. I did not request the people to elect me but it was the people who requested me to run for parliament. I believe the work of a parliamentarian is in two-fold. It is to pass legislation and also to be a developmental officer. You cannot just pass laws and not ensure development in your constituency,” said Sithole.
    Meanwhile Shadrack Johnson (65) won the position of Constituency Headman for the Ludzeludze Inkhundla with 1 960 votes.

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