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AUDP history

Short history of (AUDP) and Swaziland

Africa United Democratic Party (AUDP) is a Liberal Party located in Swaziland within Southern Africa, and has many members and supporters in Swaziland and across the world. AUDP is a leading underground, vibrant and influential Liberal Party in Swaziland, through its covert operations. On the 27th -30th  November,2014, in Morocco –Marrakech, the party joined Africa Liberal Network (ALN),and became one of the 44 ALN member parties.

African United Democratic Party (AUDP) has its origin lies in the 1982 Political Era, when South Africa and Swaziland came to a formal agreement regarding each other’s security interests. Swaziland would deport all African National Congress (ANC) members to South Africa. This did not prevent raids by the South African police in search of ANC operatives.

Many Swazis ,in particular, Students of the University of Swaziland, who were Liberals  fought very hard in support of the South African struggle against Apartheid Regime, included AUDP President Mr. Stanley Sdumo Malindzisa, and Secretary General Prince Sibusiso Busibheki Dlamini, Mr.Mfanasibile Nxumalo, Princess  Bibi Faith Dlamini, Prince Mxolisi Dlamini, Miss Nonhlanhla Nhlabatsi ,Mr.Sipho Simelane, MR.Manqoba Khumalo ,Prince Donald Dlamini, Princess Sibongile Dlamini, Prince Roland Dlamini, Prince Sibusiso .A .Dlamini and many others, decided to form African United Democratic Party (AUDP), so as to bring Liberalism in Swaziland, Africa and Internationally.

FORMATION OF SWAYOCO

In January, 1991, the party through its covert operation formed the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) to operate as a neutral youth organization in mobilizing the youth of Swaziland, so as to bring Democracy in Swaziland.

The First leaders of SWAYOCO were President Benedict Tsabedze a Liberal Law Student of the University of Swaziland and PUDEMO member, Secretary General Nonhlanhla Nhlabatsi a Student of University of Swaziland, who is currently AUDP Women’s Wing Secretary General, Manzini Regional Secretary Prince Sibusiso Busibheki Dlamini an LLB Honours Student of the University of Wolverhampton in United Kingdom, who is currently AUDP Secretary General, and other members and non members of the African United Democratic Party (AUDP), and People United Democratic Movement members (PUDEMO).

Since its formation SWAYOCO was not PUDEMO Youth Wing until after the death of President Benedict Tsabedze a Liberal Law Student. During SWAYOCO General Congress of 1996 held at Manzini Caritas, wherein, it was undemocratically decided to make SWAYOCO a PUDEMO Youth Wing. Thereafter, SWAYOCO’s  strength was reduced as some Liberals stopped their involvement and support to SWAYOCO.

Therefore, on June 1996, African United Democratic Party (AUDP), through its covert operation decided to operate within PUDEMO, SFTU and other Civic Organizations to push for a Constitutional Multiparty Democracy in Swaziland.

SWAZILAND CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW COMMISSION

Swaziland did not have a written constitution. The kingdom was governed through a decree made and passed on 12th April 1973 by King Mswati III’s predecessor, King Sobhuza II. A main pillar of the decree was that it banned all political activity and organisations.

In 1994 and 1995 the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU), the National Association of Civil Servants and university students organised strikes in protest against a continued ban on political activity. In January 1996 another general strike supported by SFTU was called, which disrupted most of the country, leading to the brief arrest of three of the SFTU’s leaders.

The following year in April 1997, demonstrations were put down by the use of force and several youth leaders arrested. King Mswati III, in power since 1986, reacted by announcing the current constitutional review process. The trade unions and civil society organisations had dismissed the process as a “toy telephone”.

African United Democratic Party (AUDP), through its overt operations, operating within SWAYOCO mounted more political pressure on the Swazi Regime. Hence, Swaziland’s Constitutional Review Commission CRC.

Victimisation of leaders in the struggle for democracy followed, with job losses and expulsions from institutions of higher learning; the latter led to class boycotts and unrest at a teacher training college and the University of Swaziland in November, which were suppressed through the arrest and repeated detention of student leaders and mass expulsions with students being violently evicted (Levin 1997, 210). Relations between PUDEMO and the SFTU, already strained, deteriorated when SFTU general secretary of the SFTU, Jan Sithole, distanced SFTU from PUDEMO and the democracy movement before the trial (Levin 1997, 206).

The groundswell of public support for PUDEMO in the urban areas led to the formation of popular grass roots organisations such as the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO), the Human Rights Association of Swaziland and a plethora of civic organisations (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1156).In June 1991 King Mswati responded to the widespread and popular groundswell for political reform by establishing a commission to review the tinkhundla system, chaired by Prince Matisela and packed with “old guard” politicians; it was dubbed the ‘Vusela’ Committee’ because its brief required it to travel the country collecting submissions (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1156; Levin 1997, 216, 217).

Given its composition, and because of its narrow brief, the process was rejected by PUDEMO; it called instead for the lifting of the state of emergency imposed in 1973, a national convention that included political parties to formulate a democratisation process, an interim government to oversee the process, a referendum on whether the 1968 constitution should be revived and a Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution if the 1968 one was rejected by the electorate (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1156; Levin 1997, 216, 217). Also in June, after a barrage of news reports of government corruption, attempts were made by the government to censor media reports, but this had little success and accounts of corruption and nepotism continued to appear (Levin 1997, 192, 193).

The Vusela process met its critics every expectation, so that early on the Prime Minister was forced to appeal to the Vusela Committee not to victimise or detain people who vocalised criticism of the government or set forth the case for multi-party democracy, but instead a blanket ban was imposed on press coverage of the Committee’s hearings by the Minister of the Interior (Levin 1997, 217). In Manzini on 2 November 1991, the Committee was greeted by PUDEMO demonstrations and the hearings were cancelled, while the demonstrations were broken up by police and 19 people were arrested (Levin 1997, 218, 219).

Several youth led demonstrations by Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) followed in Manzini and Mbabane in late 1991 through to mid-1992 (Levin 1997, 218, 219). Levin (1997, 219) observed: “In the end, the Vusela committee visited all the Tinkhundla, and the system was given an overwhelming vote of no confidence by the majority of the people who attended the meetings”. Emboldened by its success, in February 1992, after a secret Second National Congress held in Soweto, South Africa, PUDEMO announced that it was unbanning itself, and that it would operate openly in Swaziland in the future (Levin 1997, 221).

Undaunted by the failure of the Vusela process, Mswati created a second review committee, promptly dubbed Vusela II, and included three critics of the Tinkhundla system along with the nine conservative members, namely PUDEMO’s organising secretary, the president of the Swaziland Human Rights Association and Senator Arthur Khoza; the PUDEMO representative pulled out of the committee almost immediately (Levin 1997, 222, 223; Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1156).

On 9 October 1992, the Vusela II report was published, which recommended that the system remain largely unchanged except that the Tinkhundla system is reformed (Levin 1997, 226). House of Assembly elections would be conducted by an independent authority and be by secret ballot in a two stage process: In the “primary elections” individual chiefdoms within each Inkhundla would chose candidates and in the secondary stage elections would be held at the level of the Tinkhundla where 55 members of the House of Assembly would be directly elected by universal adult franchise (Levin 1997, 226). The Senate would be replaced with a 30 member House of Chiefs comprised of members of the aristocracy (Levin 1997, 227). The executive power of the King would remain untrammelled and political parties would remain banned (Levin 1997, 226, 227).

Vusela II also called for the lifting of the state of emergency and the abolition of detention without trial (Levin 1997, 227). Mswati approved these proposals, but they were rejected by opposition groups with PUDEMO reiterating its call for a national conference to chart the way forwarded to constitutional reform (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1156). Nevertheless the King pressed on, abolished detention without trial, and in late 1993, elections were held in accordance with the new system, following which the conservative Prince Mbilini Dlamini was made Prime Minister (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1156. See Tinkhundla elections, 1978-1993).

In a move that demonstrated growing international awareness amongst trade unionists of the struggle that was taking place in Swaziland, the Congress of South African Trade Unions mounted a blockade of two major border posts on 3 March 1993; it signalled the beginning of active and continuing support for the democracy movement in Swaziland (Matlosa 1998, 336).

SFTUs position shifted towards support for the democracy movement and in 1994 called two general strikes, the second of which cost over R100 million (Matlosa 1998, 335). In 1995 property of the state and of public functionaries were subjected to a spate of arson (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1156). In March 1995 another general strike was called by SFTU that brought the country to a halt and cost the economy over R100 000 (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1156; Levin 1997, 239).

In November 1995 PUDEMA, SWAYOCO, SFTU and allied organisations held a conference at which the King Mswati was called on to go into exile while the country underwent a transition to multiparty democracy (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1156). PUDEMO followed this up with a campaign of civil disobedience in January 1996, while SFTU announced an indefinite national strike demanding the repeal of the 1995 Industrial Relations Act and the unbanning of political parties (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1156; Levin 1997, 239). The strike was widely heeded, lasted for nine days and was the most costly to date, however clashes between with the police led SFTU to suspend the strike (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1156).

King Mswati III rejected the demands made, saying ‘nobody told him what to do’ (cited in Matlosa 1998, 333). The situation in Swaziland attracted the attention and concern of the Southern African Development Community, and a meeting was convened in July 1996 in Maputo to discuss the situation, but the King did not attend (Matlosa 1998, 334). Instead, to relieve some of the pressure he appointed yet a third body, the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), with 31 unilaterally appointed members, chaired by a member of the royal family and including a wider range of interests and views than hitherto (Matlosa 1998, 333, 334; Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1156; Dlamini 2005, 42).

Despite the presence of pro-democracy activists, the manner of its appointment, the overwhelming dominance of conservatives and it marginalisation of democracy advocates led to its rejection by pro-democracy groups (Dlamini 2005, 42; Matlosa 1998, 334). An activist lawyer withdrew because he refused to be used as “window dressing”, PUDEMO’s Mario Masuku withdrew in January 1997 and SFTU’s Themba Msibi was suspended after failing to withdraw when instructed to do so (Dlamini 2005, 42; Matlosa 1998, 334). The CRC spent five years research and writing its report in condition so not transparent that they verged on secrecy (Dlamini 2005, 39). Meanwhile yet another tinkhundla election was held in 1998 (See Fifth Tinkhundla general elections, 1998).

In 1998, bomb blasts took place apparently aimed at assassinations of public figures, including the King; an unknown group calling itself the “Tigers” took responsibility (Institute for Security Studies 2002). In April 1999 SFTU, PUDEMO and other pro-democracy groups formed the Swaziland Democratic Alliance (SDA) to coordinate their activities (Institute for Security Studies 2002).

SUPRESSION, REFORM AND RESISTANCE (2001-2007)

As early as February 1999, after the publication of a report analysing the potential impact of HIV/AIDS on Swaziland, King Mswati III declared the plague to be a national disaster (Daly 2001, 23). The epidemic had already taken hold, however, and the estimated prevalence rate stood at 23% by 2001 and by 2005, the estimate was 33.4% (Daly 2001, 22; Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1159). In June 2005 the Co-ordinator of for AIDS Prevention estimated that one in every 15 children had been orphaned by the epidemic and that by 2010 one in eight children would be orphaned by AIDS (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1159). In 2006, it was estimated that one in ten Swazi households were sibling-headed (American Centre for International Labour Solidarity 2006, 5). The consequences, in terms of loss in human life, suffering, social devastation and labour force loss, have been devastating.

In the new millennium the economy stagnated and economic growth fell to an average of a little over 2% a year compared with an average of 3.6% a year in the 1990s, while real per capita income growth fell from an average of 3% per annum to about 0.5% from the mid-1990s onwards (IMF 2008, 6, 24).

However, income distribution was extremely unequal, with the wealthiest 10% of the population obtaining 43% of income (Dlamini 2005, 68). Because of high levels of inequality in the distribution of wealth and income combined with growing unemployment, this has led to increased impoverishment amongst the bulk of the population, “poverty has risen from 66 percent in 1995 to 69 percent in 2001 and is perhaps higher today” (IMF 2008, 24).

Primarily as a result of the HIV/AIDS crisis, population grow rates declined rapidly from 2.5% in 2001 to 1.7% in 2006, while unemployment hovered around 30%, though an estimate by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) put unemployment at 40% in 2006 (IMF 2008, 57; American Centre for International Labour Solidarity 2006, 5).

The ILO survey estimated that formal sector jobs had shrunk from 65 000 in 1982 to 20 000 in 2006 (American Centre for International Labour Solidarity 2006, 5). The erosion of jobs was at least partly attributable to the virtual collapse of the Swazi textile industry as a result of the end of the Multi-Fibre Arrangement in January 2005 and competition from Asian producers, as well as low sugar prices on the world market (American Centre for International Labour Solidarity 2006, 11, 12). Though government consumption spending rose, this neither stimulated economic growth nor ameliorated the plight of the poor, while investment in healthcare and education stagnated (IMF 2008, 5). As many as 23% of children did not attend primary school, spending on healthcare has remained a constant 6% of GDP despite the escalating HIV/AIDS crisis and a quarter of the population required food assistance (IMF 2008, 6, 7; Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1158).

Swaziland continued to be wracked by industrial and social unrest, with government responses to popular protests becoming increasingly heavy handed. In March 2000, following reports of corruption, the government closed its own daily newspaper, the Swaziland Observer and was only permitted to resume publication a year later (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1157).

The latter part of 2000 saw industrial unrest and protests in September and October, including protests against land evictions in eastern Swaziland culminating a government ban on labour meetings and closure of the University of Swaziland (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1156, 1157; IRIN 2000).

0n 4-5 November trade unionists and political activists met in South Africa and issued an ultimatum to the government, entitled the Nelspruit Declaration, demanding the unbanning of political parties, lifting of the 1973 state of emergency and the revocation of the 1998 Public Order Act (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1157; Dempster 2000). If the ultimatum went unanswered by 9 November, they planned national stay-aways on 13 and 14 November and a blockade of the border on the 29 and 30 as well an interim government in exile (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1157; Dempster 2000; IRIN 2000).

The Swazi government responded by reintroducing detention without trial, arresting Peoples’ United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) leader Mario Masuku (though he was released a few days later), harassing Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU) secretary general Jan Sithole and ordering the expulsion of South African journalists (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1157; Smith 2000; IRIN 2000). The SFTU led border closure, with the support of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), achieved some success (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1157).

In February 2001, the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), appointed in mid-1996, finally submitted its report to the King, but the report was only made public in April (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1156; Maroleng 2003, 3). Even before publication of the report the chair of the CRC, Prince Mangaliso Dlamini, antagonised democracy advocates by telling an assembly at the royal kraal that the CRC had found Swazis to be content with the current system, and so the report was rejected by them in advance (Maroleng 2003, 3; IRIN 2000).

The published report recommended the retention and strengthening of the status quo (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1156). In December 2001, Mswati appointed a Constitution Drafting Committee of 15 members, a move seen by the political opposition as yet another attempt to delay a transition to democracy (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1156).

In February 2002 Mswati revoked a decree that increased the powers of the King, but hopes of liberalisation were dashed by the introduction in June of a harsh Internal Security Bill that forbade public display of party insignia, criminalised calls for boycotts or mass stay aways and set a 20 year penalty for those undergoing military training outside the country with the intention of engaging in insurgency (Maroleng 2003, 3; Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1157).

The proposed draconian measures met with international condemnation and hardened the positions of donor such as Denmark, which had suspended aid in February already because of the deteriorating human right situation and the USA, which in March had excluded Swaziland from expanded assistance to developing countries for the same reason (Dlamini 2005, 36; Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1160). Increasingly calls by the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) and the Swaziland Democratic Alliance (SDA) for trade sanctions drew sympathy from international labour organisations (Dlamini 2005, 35, 36). In the end, in the face of national and international criticism, the Bill was withdrawn (Dlamini 2005, 36; Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1160).

In late 2002 a conflict between the government and the courts erupted when the Chief Justice, Stanley Sapire, ordered the release of a young girl earmarked for marriage to the King Mswati; Sapire was eventually forced to resign when the order went unheeded and he came under intense pressure from the executive (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1157; Maroleng 2003, 4, 5). In November 2002 the conflict between the judiciary and the executive intensified as six judges of the Court of Appeal resigned when two orders issued by the Court were not respected by the government, one of which ruled that the King could not rule by decree or over-rule Parliament (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1157; Maroleng 2003, 4, 5).

According to Macmillan & Levin (2007, 1157): “The Prime Minister reportedly stated that the Government would not be bound by the rulings of the Court of Appeal and the Attorney-General alleged that the Court was acting under ‘external influence'”. A stalemate ensued for the High Court judges refused to hear cases and member of the legal profession went on strike (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1157). A mediation effort by the Commonwealth Secretariat led to return to work of judges in mid-November 2004, but when the judges discovered that some court orders had still not been implemented, as agreed on with government, they resumed their strike (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1157; 1158). In April 2005, the crisis was resolved and in 2006, the Court of Appeal was reconstituted (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1158).

In April 2003 protests at the suspending the constitution by King Sobhuza II in 1973 were dispersed by police with teargas, forming the backdrop for the dissolution of the Parliament in May for the tinkhundla election of September/October (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1158). The SDA and SFTU called for a boycott of the election, but several members of affiliated bodies stood as candidates, including Obed Dlamini, leader of the Ngwane National Liberatory Congress (NNLC) and chairperson of the SDA, resulting in the breakup of the SDA (Karume 2004, 15; Masuku 2008).

The election was marked by low levels of voter registration and a voter turnout of just 18.4%, which, whether due to the boycott or apathy or both, did little to enhance the credibility of the exercise (Olaleye 2004, 24, 27; Commonwealth Expert Team 2003, 44, 45; see “2003 Tinkhundla election” in Election archive for details).

In November 2003, the Draft Constitution was presented to the King by the Constitution Drafting Committee; it was promulgated on 26 July 2005 after some minor changes and came into effect on 8 February 2006 (Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1158, 1159; American Center for International Labor Solidarity 2006, 4). Section 4(4) of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland Act No.1 of 2005 LimitedPowers of the King,and his right to govern by decree and King’s Order in Council were also removed as well.Further,the Constitution through its Bill of Rights unbanned Political Parties.

On 2nd day of October,2005, members of  the underground Africa United Democratic Party (AUDP),decided to stop operating through PUDEMO and thereafter, officially formed  African United Democratic Party (AUDP),to advance Liberalism in Swaziland.

 

RATIONALE

The rationale behind moving away from PUDEMO, and further the official formation of African United Democratic Party (AUDP), were as follows;

  1. PUDEMO had declared itself a Socialist Party and majority of its members were trained communist. As such, the movement was advancing communist ideology. Hitherto to its communist ideology PUDEMO was a Mass-Based Political Party, in that it accommodated different ideologists including liberalism and communism. In these premises, the was infighting or conflict of ideologists within PUDEMO. Hence, PUDEMO is presently a consultative member of the Socialist International.
  2. Liberals decided to form African United Democratic Party (AUDP), with an intention to advance Liberalism in Swaziland, Africa and Internationally
  3. PUDEMO rejected the Constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland Act No.1 of 2005; on ground that political parties were not represented during its drafting. But PUDEMO had withdrawn its King’s appointee- President Mr. Mario Masuku from the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC)
  4. AUDP believed;

4.1 that such  rejection of the constitution as a Stubborn Loyalty.

4.2 that since the constitution provided a Bill of Rights which unbanned political parties, it was illogically, unacceptably ,unreasonably and unjustified to reject the constitution which came into force through our sweat, hard working, heavily fight and blood.

4.3 that the Swazi Regime had not wanted Swaziland to be governed by a written constitution, since it justified the 12th April,1973 Decree, as a Supreme Law of the Country, until more political pressure was mounted on her.

4.4 that rejecting the constitution would enable the regime to unlawfully repealed the constitution, and rule by the 12th April,1973 Decree again since it was still not expressly repealed, and it was going to take another more than 30 years for Swaziland to have another written constitution.

4.5.further,that the constitution was a supreme law of the country as it was an Act of Parliament, and United Nation (UN), Common Wealth Countries, African Union (AU), Southern African Deployment Community (SADAC),or other International Organizations, or  International Community, High Court, and Supreme Court of Swaziland had declared it a Supreme Law of Swaziland and.

4.6. furthermore, that the constitution was a statute, as such, it would be amended from time to time to accommodate current interests of people.

ACHIEVEMENT

1.AUDP  through interpreting the constitution of Swaziland  have able to convince the majority of civic society organizations, political parties that the 2005 Constitution of Swaziland in terms of Section 14 (b) and 25 (Freedom of Association and Assembly) allows forming and belonging to a political party, and Section 25(4) allows registration of political parties, Section 58(1),(4),allows a political party to form government, Section 87(1)79,90(4),95(2) and 84 allows multiparty elections in Swaziland.

2. CONSTITUTION HAD BEEN REJECTED THROUGH IGNORANCE

Prior to that civic society organizations, political parties had rejected the constitution claiming it did not allow existence of political parties, and Government of Swaziland had insisted that the constitution did not allow existence of political parties and claimed that political parties were still banned in terms of the royal decree of 12th April 1973, which banned political parties. But AUDP insisted convincing them that in terms of the constitution Section 1(2) which says all laws that are inconsistent with this constitution shall to the extent of its consistence be declared void. Therefore, any law that banned political parties was de facto nullity and can be expressly declared null and void abinitio by a court order or statute to that effect. The party is still convincing them that in terms of interpretation of statutes- no provision, word, phrase, sentence or paragraph of any statute or constitution shall be interpreted so as to conflict or violate bill of rights, in the circumstances that
provision expressly violate bill of rights it is declared an empty clause and/or presumed not functional. de facto nullity Political Parties are allowed in the Bill of Rights of the constitution of Swaziland.

3.GOVERNMENT PROPAGANDA

Because government is propagating her propaganda to the effect that political parties cannot stand for elections, but individual members may stand election based on their individual merits. There is no provision in the constitution which says political parties cannot stand for elections.

Section  79.

The Section states that, ‘The system of government for Swaziland is a democratic, participatory, tinkhundla-based system which emphasises devolution of state power from central government to tinkhundla areas and individual merit as a basis for election or appointment to public office”.

Therefore, this Section is Open Ended, as it allowed a Political Party Candidate and/or Individual Candidate to contest General Elections or Parliamentary Elections.

According to Oxford Advanced Dictionary, merit means a quality or action that is good. Thereupon, it means an individual credibility. It does not delink a person from his Political Party.

In these premises, an individual merit of a Political Party Candidate may reflect Policies of his/her Political Party. This is based on one of the functions of Political Parties, to produce State Leaders. A Political Party is a School for Leaders, as it gives knowledge, skills and experience and/or credibility to its members, and presents them to electorate to be elected as State Leaders. 

The Traditional Authorities through Government miss-interpret the constitution so as to violate the Bill of Rights, which is provided in The Constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland Act No1 of 2005, Chapter III. This is an International Criminal Offence Against Abuse of Human Rights.

According to Professor Lourens du Plessis (2007) Re-Interpretation of Statutes:

(I).Onerous Provisions (Encroachment on Existing Rights)

This Maxim states that there shall be no provision of any law or constitution be interpreted so as to violate a Bill of Rights, and such conflicting provision is defactonullity.”traditionally it has been said to be a well-established rule in the construction of statutes that where an Act is capable of two interpretations, that one should be preferred which does not take away existing rights. Conversely, remedial provisions had to be construed liberally so as to extend the remedy they contain as far as the words will admit.”

”The Bill of Rights does not deny the existence of any other rights or freedom that are recognised or conferred by common law, customary law or legislation, to the extent that they are consistent with the Bill”.

(II). InterpretationEx VisceribusActus

This Maxim also known as Classicalcontextualism.It emphasises that a particular provision of a statute is to be understood as part of the more encompassing legislative instrument in which it has been included. ‘To determine the purpose of the Legislature, it is necessary to have regard to the Act as a whole and not to focus attention on a single provision to the exclusion of all others. To treat a single provision as decisive…might obviously result in a wholly wrong conclusion.”

”This approach which has met with (explicit and implicit) response in the case law, also facilitates the harmonisation of ostensibly conflicting provisions of one and the same statute on the assumption that the legislature is …consistent with itself. The ex visceribusapproach, judged by the Constitutional Court’s frequent reliance on it, seems to be exceptionally apt for purposes of constitutional interpretation.”

(II)Preference For The Least Arduous Interpretation

This Maxim state that ‘’in cases of doubt the most beneficial interpretation is to be preferred’’. Reliance on this Maxim (conventionally expressed as a presumption in favour of the least arduous interpretation of statutory provision) can facilitate resort to Constitutional Values in Statutory Interpretation.

Further, the party has been able to convince Government to draft a Social and Political Associations Bill- for the registration and operations of political parties in Swaziland.

The Bill is now in the General Attorney Chambers, in the ministry of justice and is waiting to be tabled in parliament so as to register political parties and/or officially recognize political parties in Swaziland. In any event the Minister of Justice does not table it in parliament, any member of parliament may move a motion calling upon the minister of justice to table it in parliament within 30 days failing which the minister of justice may be charged of contempt of parliament and be removed from office with immediately effect. At the moment the country is ruled by an undemocratic and oppressive monarchical regime in Swaziland.

RALLIES AND DEMOSTRATIONS

In 2006, the AUDP filed a High Court Constitutional Case, in which it sought for a Court Order for registration and operations of political parties in Swaziland, in terms of Section 24(4), of the constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland. This is an ideal case to clearly declare the status of political parties in Swaziland. However, due to financial constraints, the case is still pending in court.

In 2006, the party organized a rally at Lomahasha within Lubombo Region, in which more than a thousand people attended. As per the constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland, the party had been granted permission to hold the rally by the constituency headman .The rally was to sensitize and mobilize people to push for registration of political parties in Swaziland. However, the Member of Parliament, of that constituency rushed to the national radio station and with the support of the Chief of that area and the police force unlawfully and unconstitutionally stopped the rally thereon.

Since, 10th December, 2007-2011, the party held various meetings with Government of Swaziland, to push for recognition, registration, and operations of political parties in Swaziland. Government of Swaziland, accepted that political parties were allowed in terms of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland Act No.1 of 2005. The Government advised that African United Democratic Party (AUDP) was allowed to operate in Swaziland, but the people on the grass roots level had to be educated about their constitutional rights, so as they could not create political confusion in the country, by rejecting the existence of political parties. Further, the Government also advised that once a majority of people in Swaziland demanded registration of political parties in the country, she will definitely register political parties. Furthermore, the Government of Swaziland also advised that meanwhile the AUDP High Court Constitutional Case is an ideal one to clearly declare registration and operations of political parties in the country.

However, there is a conflict of opinions between the civil Government and the Traditional Authorities about the registration and operations of political parties in Swaziland.

The Traditional Authorities believe that the Constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland had taken more powers from the Monarch and given them to Judiciary and Political Parties. As such, the Traditional Authorities believe that in the circumstances political parties were allowed to register and operate in Swaziland, they may remove the Monarch. Therefore, they maintained that political parties may remained unregistered, so as they could not be a thread to the status quo. In these premises, the Government’s conduct of miss-interpreting the Constitutional Provisions to violate the Bill of Rights is nothing else but an intentionally delaying tactics to maintain the status quo.

In 2009, the Swaziland Government declared in the United Nations Periodic Review Council, that political parties were allowed in Swaziland. Therefore, the United Nations Periodic Review Council gave the Government of Swaziland an ultimatum of 31st March, 2011, to enact a statute for registration and operation of political parties in Swaziland. However, Government of Swaziland has still failed to meet the demands of the United Nations Periodic Review Council. The meetings between Government of Swaziland and United Nations Periodic Review Council are still in progress.

In 2008-2013, the party through its covert operations at the University of Swaziland and other Tertiary Institutions in Swaziland organized a series of class boycotts, to mount pressure on the regime, so as to bring Constitutional Multiparty Democracy in Swaziland. However, many students at University of Swaziland and other Tertiary Institutions in Swaziland, were victimized, harassed, intentionally failed and discontinued, and expelled from the University of Swaziland and other Tertiary Institutions in Swaziland.

Further, oppressive regime of Swaziland introduced a scholarship policy which discriminated students based on political opinions and/or affiliations. Political activists Students were denied scholarship. Non Science Faculties including Law, Humanities and any other which provided political studies were removed away from scholarship programme. Government viewed such programs as a thread to the status quo. Therefore, affected students had to undergo a stress of applying to foreign universities and applying to different entities for scholarships, so as to complete their studies and be able to contribute to Socio-Economical and Political Development Locally and Internationally. Thereupon, the party solicits scholarship for the affected liberal students, so as to advance Liberalism in Swaziland, Africa and Internationally.

In 2009, the AUDP organized a rally in Manzini Municipality, but it was denied permission to go ahead with the rally, by the Municipality. The rally was to push for free primary education in Swaziland, as provided in the constitution of Swaziland. Thereafter, the party through covert operations organized the rally under the disguise of civic society organizations, and it was successfully, and a High Court Order was granted in favour of free -primary education applicants.

In 2013, the party organized a rally at Mhlaleni within Manzini Region, more than 1500 people attended, and 12 members were carrying the party flag. However, after singing its national anthem it was blogged by police forces from going ahead. The rally intended to push for registration of political parties in Swaziland

Since, 2011, the United States of America, European Union Countries and United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO), have been pressurising Government of Swaziland to enable registration and operations of political parties in Swaziland. But Government of Swaziland failed to take that advice. Hence, in 2013, the United States of America (USA) removed Swaziland from the beneficiaries of African Growth Opportunity Act, until Government of Swaziland meets the four bench marks which included, inter-alia, Political Pluralism, Freedom of Associations and Assembly.

In 2013, through its covert operations and/or working with civic society organizations conducted more than 30 mass demonstrations in Swaziland, pushing for registration of political parties.

On 1st  day of May, 2015, with the assistance of Liberal Democratic Party, Sudan, AUDP has created and launched its  website, http://audp.org/,to advance Liberalism in Swaziland, Africa and Internationally .

In 2015, the party through its covert operations in pushing for Limited Government and/or Separation of Powers of three branches of Government and Rule of Law, brought the Government Operations into standstill, in which Three (3) High Court Judges including Two (2) Supreme Court Judges, Register of High Court and Minister of Justice, who supported the party policy were unlawfully and unconstitutionally arrested.

In 2014, Marrakech Morocco, African United Democratic Party (AUDP) Joined and/ or became member of Africa Liberal Network (ALN), branch of Liberal International with its Head Offices in The United Kingdom (UK), advancing Liberalism Internationally.

In 2014, Marrakech Morocco Africa Liberal Network (ALN) adopted AUDP Resolution in Swaziland called Marrakech Declaration, 2014, to advance Liberalism in Swaziland.

We have been able to influence and/or lobby Members of Parliament in Swaziland, to advance our Liberal Values and Principles in Parliament. Hence, the June, 2021, to date, Political Tension or Political Unrest in Swaziland.

Hundreds Thousands People Country wide engaged into March Actions, Demonstrations and Protesting delivering Petitions in Country Tinkhundla Centres (Electoral Centres) pushing AUDP Programme of Action, Operation Vulindlela (Open The Way To Democracy) demanding Elections of Prime Minister by Parliament before King’s Advisory Council recommends him to King for appointment as Prime Minister.

More than Seven Hundred (700) people including AUDP Members and Supporters, and Two (2) Members of Parliament arrested, MP Mr Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza, MP Mthandeni Dube, and MP Mduduzi Simelane escaped Arrest.

More than Hundred (100) people, including AUDP Members and Supporters have been brutally killed by Police and Army Forces.  More than Three Hundred 300 People brutally Assaulted, Shot, and permanently disabled by Police and Army Forces.

People exercising their Constitutional Right to Freedom of Expression, and Freedom of Association and Peaceful Assembly, and Expression are harassed by Government Security Forces, and brutally assaulted and arrested, and killed by Government Security Forces. Some Police Officers and Soldiers being killed. Some Government Structures and Properties, and Targeted Private Individuals Houses and Properties being burnt costing more than Three (3) Billions Rand.

AUDP calls upon Swaziland Government to implement the Constitution of Kingdom of Swaziland Act Noi.1 of 2005, to its fullest and uphold Bill of Rights Contained therein, so as to restore Constitutional Order, Peace and Stability, Safety and Security and Constitutional Multiparty Democracy realized in The Kingdom of Swaziland to enhance Socio-Economic and Political Development of the Country.

We are committed Creating more Branches Countrywide, Organize Seminars, Workshops, Meetings, capacitating our Members, to assist and Fund Party Candidates in General Elections into Parliament to advance Liberalism.

Because of Undemocratic Political Environment in Swaziland, we need assistance to advance Liberalism in Swaziland.

1.Hold Seminars, Workshops, Meetings, to capacitates our candidates to Win

Majority Seats in Parliament, in terms of Constitution of Kingdom of Swaziland

Act No.1 of 2005, Section 90(4) Elections Expenses Act No.5 of 2013, Section

7(1) and 8(1),

2.Enact Statutes to enable Parliament Elects (Gives Confidence) Prime Minister before Kings Advisory Council recommends him/her to King for appointment as Prime Minister in terms of;

Constitution of Kingdom of Swaziland Act No.1 of 2005, Section 67(1) Appointment of Prime Minister from the House, and

68(1)(e) Regulating Parliamentary Confidence in Prime Minister, to enable Parliament to give Confidence to Prime Minister before Kings Advisory Council recommends him/her to King for appointment as Prime Minister, and/ or Parliament removes Prime Minister after voice of no confidence, and

  1. Formation of Government by AUDP in terms of Constitution of Kingdom of

Swaziland Act No.1 of 2005, Section 67(1)(2) 84 and 58(4).

As the Prime Minister will come from our Party, in terms of Constitution of Kingdom of Swaziland Act No.1 of 2005, Section 67(2) the Prime Minister willrecommend AUDP Members of Parliament to the King for appointment as Cabinet. AUDP Government will effetely enact Laws, Policies and Regulations  in accordance to Liberal Principles and Values, in advancing Liberalism in Swaziland, Africa and Internationally.

The Constitution of The Kingdom of Swaziland Act No.1 of 2005.

‘’Appointment of Prime Minister and other Ministers

  1. (1) The King shall appoint the Prime Minister from among members of the House acting on recommendation of the King’s Advisory Council. (2) The King shall appoint Ministers from both chambers of Parliament on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. (3) At least half the number of Ministers shall be appointed from among the elected members of the House.

Vacation of office of Prime Minister or Minister

  1. (1) The office of the Prime Minister shall become vacant where –

(a) the King revokes the appointment for incompetence;

(b) the Prime Minister is declared an insolvent;

(c) the Prime Minister ceases to be a member of the House;

(d) the Prime Minister resigns from office;

(e) after a resolution of no confidence in the Prime Minister is passed by at least two thirds majority of all members of the House, the King removes the Prime Minister;

(f) the Prime Minister is removed from office for misbehaviour or inability to perform the functions of that office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind); or

(g) the Prime Minister dies.’’

Legal Interpretation

The Legal Interpretation of The Constitution of The Kingdom of Swaziland Act No.1 of 2005, Section 68(1) (e) 67(1) is that if Parliament can remove Prime Minister after a resolution of no confidence, implies that Parliament can elect or give confidence to Prime Minister before Kings Advisory Council recommends him/her to King for appointment as Prime Minister.

Professor Lourens du  Piessis (2007), Re-Interpretation of Statutes,2 ed. Durban, South Africa, Butterworths, p 238-39.

Madrassa Anjuman Islamia v Johannesburg Municipality 1917 AD718 722; Rembrandt Fabrikante en Handelaars (Edms) Bpk v Gulf Oil  Corp 1962 3 SA 158 (T) 162 B-C;

Mendelson and Frost (Pty) Ltd v Pretoria City Council 1977 3 SA 693 (T) 698A-B; S v Mjoli 1981 3 SA 1233 (A) 1247A.

Van Heerden v Queen’s Hotel (Pty) Ltd 1973 2 SA 14 (RA) 26B-C; Buren Padiachy v Johannesburg City Council 1979 2 SA 1191 (W).

‘’EX contrariis Where a provision expressly caters for certain circumstances, it is inferred that for opposite circumstances the contrary hold.

Ex correlativis An implication ex correlativis arises from mutual or reciprocal relationship. A prohibition to purchase includes a prohibition on sale: a prohibition to let implies a prohibition to hire, et cetera.’’

CONCLUSION

The AUDP with the support of other Liberal Parties in Africa and internationally committed to advance Liberalism in Swaziland, Africa and Internationally. However, the party is facing financial constrains to advance its operations, as many operations are conducted through sacrifice. In these premises, financial assistance is kindly solicited to promptly the struggle for Liberalism.

REFERENCES

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  18. Crisis Group Policy Briefing Paper No.29, 14 July 005, page 2.
  19. See Conflicts in Natural Resources Management in the Wildlife Sector in Swaziland, A report by Douglas Consulting, May 2004. See also http://www.yongenawe.com/02/programmes/esej.html, accessed 28 April 2005.
  20. See Conflicts in Natural Resources Management in the Wildlife Sector in Swaziland, A report by Douglas Consulting, May 2004. See also http://www.yongenawe.com/02/programmes/esej.html, accessed 28 April 2005.
  21. See http://www.chr.up.ac.za for these reports.
  22. Update: The Law and Legal Research in Swaziland, By Buhle Dube and Alfred

          Magagula, June, 2012

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  19. (Mantoe Phakathi, Government in Court over Property Rights, IPS, Aug. 6, 2009, available athttp://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=47984.)
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  23. In this regard see the original Proclamation by His Majesty King Sobhuza II, King’s Proclamation 12th April 1973,
  24. Sections 2 (a), (b) and (c).
  25. N Hlatshwayo, Constitutionalism and Swazi culture: A recipe for harmony or disaster, unpublished paper presented at the Institute for Democracy and Leadership Conference, 1994.
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  27. R. Cornwell, Swaziland: unconstitutional monarchy? Unpublished ISS paper.
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  29. Swaziland: Opposition reject daft constitution, IRIN Report, 10 June 2003.
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  31. DIKOTLA, M & VERHOEF, G 2002 “The Development of Trade in SADCC : the first decade of trade in the new regional formation, 1980 – 1989”, Paper presented to the International Economic History Congress, Buenos Aires, 23 July 2002, [www] http://eh.net/XIIICongress/Papers/Dikotla.pdf [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 10 Mar 2010).
  32. DLAMINI, LG 2005 Socio-economic and political constraints on constitutional reform in Swaziland, Masters in Public Administration Dissertation,

http://etd.uwc.ac.za/index.php?module=etd&action=viewauthor&id=gen8Srv25Nme4_4327_1197279930&allowManage=[opens new window] (accessed 10 Mar 2010).

  1. IMF 2008 “IMF Country Report No. 08/86: Kingdom of Swaziland: Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix”, March, [www] http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.cfm?sk=21773.0[PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 10 Mar 2010).
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  4. MACMILLAN, H & LEVIN, R 2007 “Swaziland: Recent History” IN Frame, I (ed) Africa South of the Sahara 2008, Routledge.
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  7. http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/global_health/aids/Countries/africa/swaziland.html.
  8. HIV/AIDS Web site: http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/global_health/aids.
  9. CUMMERGEN, P 2000, “Zionism and politics in Swaziland”, Journal of Religion in Africa, 30(3), August, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1581497
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http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/SAK-Swazinewsletter/message/111 [opens new window] (accessed 28 Mar 2010).

  1. Deane Stuart 2009 “Chapter 12: Swaziland” IN Denis Kadima and Susan Booysen (eds) Compendium of Elections in Southern Africa 1989-2009: 20 Years of Multiparty Democracy, EISA, Johannesburg, 475-477.
  2. Joubert, Masilela, and Langwenya (2008, 85) summarise the situation in Swaziland in the following way:
  3. (Kabemba 2004, 29; Mzizi 2005, 21; Joubert et al 2008, 66-70; IRIN 2008)
  4. (Joubert et al 2008, 63-66; CANGO 2003, 4, 5; Matlosa 2004, 7; Karume 2003, 25).
  5. (Kabemba 2004, 18; SCCCO 2008; Mamba 2008b).
  6. (Maseko 2007, 6-8, 14, 15; Macmillan & Levin 2007, 1158; Mamba 2008a; Mamba 2008c; Mzizi 2005, 26).
  7. CUMMERGEN, P 2000, “Zionism and politics in Swaziland”, Journal of Religion in Africa, 30(3), August, [www] http://www.jstor.org/stable/1581497 [opens new window] (accessed 28 Mar 2010).
  8. COORDINATING ASSEMBLY OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS (CANGO) 2003 Report on NGO Electoral Support Network Observer Mission on primary and secondary elections in Swaziland: 19 – 20th September and 18th and 19th October 2003, 4, 5.
  9. IRIN 2008 “Pro-democracy gains momentum.” 9 September, [www] http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=80226 [opens new window] (accessed 28 Mar 2010).
  10. JOUBERT, P, MASILELA, Z & LANGWENYA, M 2008 Consolidating Democratic Governance in the SADC Region: Swaziland [PDF document], Johannesburg, EISA Research Report 38.
  11. KABEMBA, C (ed) 2004 Swaziland’s Struggle with Political Liberalisation, EISA Research Report No 3.
  12. KARUME, S. 2003 “Review of previous elections in Swaziland.” IN EISA Election Update: Swaziland 2003 No 2 [PDF document], Johannesburg, EISA.
  13. MACMILLAN, H AND LEVIN, R 2007 “Swaziland: Recent History”, IN Frame, I (ed) Africa South of the Sahara 2008 London, Routledge.
  14. MAMBA, S 2008a “Justice minister accused of interfering with EBC.” Swazi Observer 24 July [www] http://www.observer.org.sz/main.php?id=45591&Section=main&articledate=Thursday,%20January%201,%201970 (offline 28 Mar 2010).
  15. MAMBA, S 2008b “No parties during elections, says AG.” Swazi Observer 25 July [www] http://www.observer.org.sz/main.php?id=45619&Section=main&articledate=Thursday,%20January%201,%201970 (offline 28 Mar 2010).
  16. MAMBA, S 2008c “Constitution challenge over”, Weekend Observer, 23 May, [www] http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/SAK-Swazinewsletter/message/115 [opens new window] (accessed 28 Mar 2010).
  17. MASEKO, T 2007 “Constitution-making in Swaziland: The cattle-byre Constitution Act 001 of 2005” Draft paper presented at African Network of Constitutional Law Conference on Fostering Constitutionalism in Africa, Nairobi, April, [www] http://www.publiclaw.uct.ac.za/usr/public_law/Nairobi/Maseko_ConstitutionMakingInSwaziland.doc [MS Word document} (accessed 28 Mar 2010).
  18. MATLOSA, K 2004 “The Legal and Institutional Architecture for the Swaziland Election 2003” IN EISA Election Update: Swaziland 2003 No 2 [PDF document], Johannesburg, EISA.
  19. MZIZI, JB 2005 Political Movements and the Challenges for Democracy in Swaziland, Johannesburg, EISA Research Report No. 18.
  20. SCCCO 2008 “Swaziland coalition calls for Elections and Boundaries Commission to resign”, 27 April, Swaziland@Newsletter, 63, [www] http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/SAK-Swazinewsletter/message/111 [opens new window] (accessed 28 Mar 2010).
  21. (SADC, 2004:47).
  22. (MISA, 2007:2-3).
  23. (Dlamini, 2006:175).
  24. Dlamini, 2006:176; MISA, 2007:38).
  25. Mamba, 2005:99; Mabuza, 2007:68; MISA, 2007:4).
  26. (Joubert, et al 2008, 70-73; Karume 2004, 17-18; Commonwealth Expert Team 2003).
  27. (Weekend Observer, 2008-02-02:13)
  28. (SADC, 2004:49-50; House of Assembly, 2007).
  29. (Times of Swaziland, 2007-10-23:2).
  30. Anon. 2007. Report on the workshop to review the draft media laws and access to information legislation for the Kingdom of Swaziland. Unpublished workshop report. 2007-03-28.
  31. Dlamini, L. 2006. Interesting times in the Kingdom of Swaziland: the advent of the new constitution and the challenge of change. In: Minnie, J. (ed). Outside the ballot box preconditions for elections in southern Africa, 2005-2006:167-180. Windhoek: MISA.
  32. [i]Joshua Bheki Mzizi, “The Dominance of the Swazi Monarchy and the Moral Dynamics of Democratisation of the Swazi State”, Journal of African Elections, vol. 3, no. 1, June 2004, p. 102
  33. [ii] Defending the Swazi king’s absolute governing powers, one PetrosMbhamali, a royalist, said King Mswati was appointed by God, and hence no one should go against that which God has set up. See http://headheeb.blogmosis.com/2004/09/calling_jeanpaul_marat.php, accessed 01/05/2007.
  34. [iii]Crisis Group Policy Briefing Paper No.29, 14 July 005, page 2.
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