Communist Party of Swaziland launched

For an end to poverty and oppression

Kick out the monarchy, kick out capitalism

For working class power and socialism in Swaziland

Statement of the central committee of the Communist Party of Swaziland on the occasion of its inaugural conference, KaMhlushwa, South Africa, April 9-10, 2011

April 10, 2011 -- Swazi men and women from inside Swaziland and in exile convened in Kamhlushwa, close to the Swazi border, over the weekend of April 9-10 for the inaugural conference of the Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS).

The formation of the CPS comes at a decisive point in the freedom struggle in Swaziland. Time is running out for the Mswati regime, which is directly responsible for the impoverishment, low life expectancy and heavy exploitation of the majority of Swazi people.

There is more than ever a need for direction and leadership to replace the hated Tinkhundla system with a republican democratic dispensation. The time has come to end the sufferings of the majority of our people and to bring the working class, the exploited and oppressed to the foreground and to make their needs and capacity the driving force of Swaziland’s future.

The CPS supports and is part and parcel of the Peoples United Democratic Movement of Swaziland (PUDEMO) and the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO), which are the central players in the broad front for national liberation. The CPS calls for Swazi women and men to join PUDEMO and SWAYOCO and to further build them as dynamic forces for change.

The CPS’s program calls for unity in action to achieve a mass democratic revolution that will pave the way to a socialist revolution. This requires the involvement of all democratic forces, among them faith-based organisations and social movements. The upcoming protests beginning on April 12  will be a crucial step in taking the struggle to a new, more confrontational stage. CPS members will take an active part in these protests and in coordinating activities around them

But the CPS will campaign against efforts to water down the Swazi revolution into a concession-based liberal capitalist enterprise that seeks business as usual through the continued oppression of the Swazi people under capitalism.

At its inaugural conference the CPS elected ca central ommittee as the first step in building the structurpes of the party. The centralcommittee comprises:

General secretary: Kenneth Kunene

National chairperson: Dumsani Fakudze

Treasurer: Khethiwe Dlamini

Deputy general secretary: Mandisa Dube

Deputy national chairperson: Goodwill duPont

National organiser: Simphiwe Mkhatshwa

International organiser: Felix Mabaso

Information organiser: Senzo Sfundza

The CPS has at this early stage in its existence received the support of the South African Communist Party, the Young Communist League of South Africa, the Communist Party of Brazil and the Communist Party of Finland. In the days and weeks ahead the CPS will make itself known to and establish relations with other communist and workers’ parties internationally.

The immediate demands and campaign platform of the CPS are for:

  • The unbanning of all parties and organisations, and institution of an interim government drawn from all parties, organisations, churches and trade unions that will set about creating the conditions for free and fair democratic elections in Swaziland.
  • The ending of the monarchic autocracy and the transfer of much of its wealth to the immediate tasks of fighting disease and the worst aspects of poverty (such as access to water and sanitation); the confiscation of all crown property and the declaration of Swaziland as a republic.
  • The dismantling of the hated tinkhundla system.
  • The isolation of the Mswati regime by all countries of the international community and the suspension of foreign business activity until the autocracy is dismantled.
  • The rights of all workers to organise into trade unions, that are in turn empowered to join the political process individually and through their federations.
  • Access to land by all who wish to work it under a controlled system of collective rights – in the short term to tackle the severe food scarcity that afflicts 40% of the population.
  • An emergency food security strategy, linked to the above demand.
  • The creation of radical processes to empower women in society, and to make women’s health a top priority in health care.
  • The creation of local workers' and peasants' organisations to articulate the needs of the urban and rural poor
  • The creation of an emergency economic, industrial and employment strategy to begin to find a way out of the crisis brought about by the Mswati autocracy and the ruling class.

Swaziland now has a Communist Party, a vehicle for socialist revolution open to all Swazi women and men who agree with its aims and are willing to work to make them a reality. To paraphrase the Communist Manifesto of Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels, it is high time that Swazi communists openly and in the face of the whole world publicise their aims and views. The working class and oppressed of Swaziland have nothing to lose but their chains – they have a world to win!

Working-class power for socialism