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Monday, 31 July 2017

‘JAIL WARDERS SELL PRISONERS DRUGS’



New allegations have surfaced about corruption in Swaziland’s jails. Warders are reportedly selling drugs to inmates. This comes after a report that warders also smuggled alcohol into jail for prisoners.

The latest claim was reported by the Swazi Observer on Thursday (27 July 2017). The newspaper said dagga (marijuana) was sold at Bhalekane Correctional Centre.

It quoted a former inmate it called ‘Mkhonta’ who said there was a dagga field close to the correctional facility and it was easy to get the drug. He said, ‘You can even get dagga that weighs 5kg if you have the money for it.’

The Observer reported, ‘According to Mkhonta there is a smoke that fills the Bhalekane facility cells daily produced by the dagga that is being smoked inside the dorms.

‘“To most it seems like there is fire being burning from outside, I am sure the first thought that comes to a passer-by’s mind when they see it, is that the prison is on fire yet it is from smoking,” he said.’

Correctional Services spokesperson Superintendent Gugulethu Dlamini told the newspaper it was impossible for officers to sneak drugs into the facility. She added,  ‘Even if the officers can follow the smell of the dagga being smoked, it can be hard to tell exactly who was smoking.’

The allegation came only weeks after a report that there had been a cover-up at Sidwashini women’s jail where a senior officer had allegedly been illegally supplying alcohol to inmates. 

See also

‘WOMEN’S JAIL BOOZE COVER-UP’

PROBE INTO ‘INHUMANE’ JAIL CONDITIONS

WARDERS DECRY MARRIED SEX IN PRISONS

Saturday, 29 July 2017

PROBE INTO CORRUPTION AT SWAZI JAIL

Prison warders at a women’s jail in Swaziland were investigated after a newspaper alleged they were supplying alcohol to inmates.

It happened at Sidwashini Correctional Services where one unnamed senior officer was reportedly at the centre of the corruption. Senior officers from His Majesty’s Correctional Services (HMCS) have been investigating.

The Sunday Observer newspaper in Swaziland (23 July 2017) reported, ‘a night of alleged bingeing was discovered one morning due to a tell-tale stench of stale alcohol’. Junior officers at the jail spoke to the press about it and claimed a senior ranking officer was supplying the alcohol.

Officers and inmates at Sidwashini were questioned.

The Sunday Observer reported, ‘According to sources at the correctional facility, officers could not determine how long this had been going on.’

The newspaper quoted a junior officer saying, ‘It makes me sick to my stomach knowing how easy it is to break the law, and serves as reminder that I can easily swop my green uniform for the prisoner’s grey.’

See also

‘WOMEN’S JAIL BOOZE COVER-UP’
PROBE INTO ‘INHUMANE’ JAIL CONDITIONS
WARDERS DECRY MARRIED SEX IN PRISONS
http://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2017/04/warders-decry-married-sex-in-prisons.html

‘AFRICA SHOULD HELP LIBERATE KINGDOM’

One of Swaziland’s foremost pro-democracy groups has called on governments and activists across Africa to support the campaign for freedom in the kingdom ruled by King Mswati III.

The Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) made the call ahead of a Mobilising International Solidarity for the Democratisation of Swaziland conference in Johannesburg on Saturday (29 July 2017). 

SSN spokesperson Lucky Lukhele told News 24 Africa needed to be leading the fight for democracy in Swaziland where King Mswati rules as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.

Lukhele told the news station, ‘Before we go to Europe, Africa must take its part in liberating the people of Swaziland. We are dealing with a monarch system in Swaziland, therefore, democracy is not going to be given on a silver platter. It’s not going to be easy to achieve democracy in that country we need solidarity.’

Swaziland has been condemned for many years by international freedom watchdogs. Political parties cannot contest elections and all groups, including SSN, that advocate for democracy are banned under the Suppression of Terrorism Act (STA).

In 2014 the United States withdrew trading privileges from Swaziland under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) because the kingdom had not fulfilled all the requirements of the programme, including respect for human rights.

The US wanted Swaziland to implement the full passage of amendments to the Industrial Relations Act; full passage of amendments to the 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. 

Amnesty International in April 2015 renewed its criticism of Swaziland for the ‘continued persecution of peaceful political opponents and critics’ by the King and his authorities.
The human rights organisation called for both the STA and the Sedition and Subversive Activities Act (SSAA) to be scrapped or drastically rewritten.

It said the Swazi authorities were using the Acts, ‘to intimidate activists, further entrench political exclusion and to restrict the exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.’

The one-day conference is hosted by the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), probably the best-known of the pro-democracy organisations in Swaziland. It is also banned under the STA. PUDEMO invited a number of organizations based in South Africa and internationally, among others the South Africa Communist Party, the trade union federation, COSATU, and the African National Congress (ANC).

See also

TERROR ACT CHANGES STALL AT SENATE
http://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2017/03/terror-act-changes-stall-at-senate.html

Friday, 21 July 2017

WHY SWAZILAND ELECTION IS BOGUS



As Swaziland gears up for the next national election due in 2018 the Elections and Boundaries Commission which is King Mswati III’s propaganda machine is working at full throttle to mislead people inside and outside the kingdom that the vote will be credible. 

Top of the propagandists’ agenda is to try to fool people that the election is to choose a new government. It is not.
 
The elections have no real purpose other than to give King Mswati, who rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, a fig leaf of democracy.

Here are 10 reasons why the election in Swaziland should not be considered credible.

Political parties are banned from taking part in the election so no debate is possible about alternative policies to those pursued by the outgoing government.

The election is only for 55 of the 65-member House of Assembly. The other ten members are appointed by King Mswati III. No members of the 30-strong Swaziland Senate are elected; 20 are appointed by the King and 10 are selected by the House of Assembly.

The people do not elect a government. The Prime Minister and Cabinet ministers are appointed by the King. The present PM Barnabas Dlamini has never been elected to political office.

The Swazi Parliament has no powers. King Mswati can, and does, overrule decisions he does not like. This was the case in October 2012 when the king refused to accept a vote of no confidence passed by the House of Assembly on his government, even though he was obliged by the constitution to do so.

Nominations for the primary elections at the last election in 2013 were marred by allegations of interference by local chiefs, who report directly to the King and vet candidates who are nominated. Some candidates said they were not nominated as they failed to catch their chief’s eye.  Some women were barred by chiefs from taking part in the 2013 nomination process because they were wearing trousers.

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) summed up the political system in Swaziland in a 2012 ‘situation report’, ‘Tinkhundla elections can essentially be defined as “organised certainty”, since they reproduce the prevailing political status quo in Swaziland. The ruling regime enjoys an unchallenged monopoly over state resources, and elections have increasingly become arenas for competition over patronage and not policy.’

Candidates in the primary election are barred by law from campaigning, so voters have no way of questioning and challenging candidates about what they would do if elected.

The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) received many complaints following the 2013 primary election. These include the buying of votes; polling stations either open for too many hours (or not enough) and people being turned away from polling stations.

The 2013 elections were criticised by most international observers. They failed to meet most of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) principles for conducting democratic elections. The African Union’s (AU) Election Observation Mission said that Swaziland should change its constitution so that it conforms with international principles for free and fair elections.

In 2013, the Commonwealth Observer Mission noted the presence of police at polling stations, compromised privacy in polling booths and identifying factors on ballot papers that prevented anonymity. The Mission recommended that the constitution should be revisited, ideally “through a fully inclusive, consultative process with all Swazi political organisations and civil society to harmonise provisions which are in conflict … to ensure that Swaziland’s commitment to political pluralism is unequivocal’”.

Richard Rooney

See also

PEOPLE CANNOT ELECT GOVERNMENT

2013 POLL RESULTS STILL NOT KNOWN

KING’S BOGUS CLAIM ON DEMOCRACY

THE CASE FOR POLITICAL PARTIES


POLL OBSERVERS: REWRITE CONSTITUTION

SWAZI KING’S CHIEFS ABOVE ELECTED MPs

NOW, ELECTION MEETINGS ARE ‘SEDITIOUS’

SWAZI ELECTION ‘WILL BE A FRAUD’

‘VOTE BUYING AT SWAZI ELECTION’

EU TELLS KING: FREE PARTIES

POLICE BREAK UP ELECTION MEETING

CALL TO BOYCOTT ELECTION GROWS

POWER STAYS WITH KING – WORLD MEDIA