Statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) on the economic crisis in the kingdom.
30 May 2011
The CC of the CPS notes with concern the rapidly deteriorating economic situation in Swaziland.
Recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sent another of its missions to Swaziland to try to put the Mswati autocracy on track to getting a cash bailout to try to stave off its financial meltdown.
The IMF mission revealed that the government has only about a month of spending power left. And it issued stern warnings and rebukes to the king’s puppet Prime Minister [Barnabas] Sibusiso Dlamini about the government’s failure to change its wasteful spending habits.
The CPS has no affection for the IMF, as it is only keen to hamstring developing poor countries through indebtedness and force them to favour capitalist privatisation at the expense of human development.
In Swaziland the IMF recognises a country on the brink of collapse, and the Fund is unwilling to contemplate supporting a loan to Mswati’s regime. Swaziland is a bad bet for the time being. But the IMF would like to turn things around and see Swaziland receive its money (or through the African Development Bank). This would give the IMF a greater foothold in the country to pursue its support for the expansion of private capital and ownership.
This is a strategy the fund, as one branch of the treasury of imperialism, applies wherever it uses loans. It is one mechanism in expanding and entrenching capitalism, and in rolling back pro-poor strategies run as integrated government programmes.
The IMF is correct to point out the hopelessness of the situation in Swaziland. It is also correct when it says that bold steps are needed to tackle the situation. The Fund was too scared to openly attack the massive waste of money and resources in Swaziland on sustaining the Mswati royal household – even though this spending is one of the main reasons the country is in such a mess. But the IMF did indirectly propose that the government should use royal-owned companies to raise cash.
Clearly, the IMF does not want to rock the political boat in Swaziland. It fears any form of popular uprising that might disrupt the chances of creating a space for capitalism to once again flourish under the autocracy. Together with other imperialist interests, it would like to see Swaziland have a more liberal-democratic face that would give capitalism an easier ride.
The CPS warns that IMF designs on Swaziland are inherently harmful and against the interests of the Swazi people. The Fund has no interest in the development of the country, of having a government able to bring about a planned reconstruction of our country. The fund cares nothing for the 70% poverty levels that afflict our country or that the 26% HIV-AIDS rate has already destroyed much of the productive capacity and potential of our population. The IMF is no friend of the Swazi people. It is a harmful and potentially disastrous influence. As elsewhere in the world, it is only interested in securing investments through its loans and promoting capitalist exploitation.
The pro-democracy movement must use the financial crisis in Swaziland as a crucial lever to bring down the Mswati regime. The crisis and bankruptcy of the government offer an improved environment to turn popular protests into more strategic action. The crisis is causing our people hardship, but we must show that that it represents a point of change, a great opportunity to force the government out and to strip the king and the royal household of all their powers.
The CPS calls for concerted strategic planning and action by the broad pro-democracy movement, especially PUDEMO and the trade union movement, to exacerbate the crisis of the regime.
The CPS is devoting all its energy to mobilising its growing membership on the ground in Swaziland and its allies inside and outside the country to force the direction of the crisis. All action and planning must be geared towards reaching a point of change that will benefit the workers and poor – the majority of our country – by creating a democratic dispensation that puts their interests first.
We call for the resignation of the government, the stripping of all executive and judicial power from the monarch, and the formation of an interim government drawn from all democratic and progressive forces to plan the creation of a democratic dispensation. This will be the start of Swaziland’s national democratic revolution.
The Mswati regime is morally, politically and financially bankrupt. We must sweep it aside.