The President of the Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO), Mduduzi ‘Magawugawu’ Simelane, has called on all democracy activists to register and vote for pro-democracy Members of Parliament (MPs) in the upcoming 2023 national elections. Simelane said SWALIMO intended to participate in the elections and challenge the Tinkhundla system of governance, which he described as oppressive and undemocratic.
Simelane made these remarks during a live interview on the Swaziland Democratic News Facebook page on Sunday evening, where he discussed the current political situation in the Kingdom of Eswatini. He said SWALIMO aimed to occupy every space and cover every corner of the country with its message of liberation and democracy.
He said SWALIMO wanted to win at least 40 parliamentary seats in 2023 and replace the current MPs who supported the Tinkhundla system. He said SWALIMO would vet its potential candidates and ensure that they were committed to the principles and ideals of social justice, equality, human rights, and dignity for all.
Simelane also said SWALIMO wanted to take over the local councils and municipalities and use them as platforms to mobilize and organize the masses for democratic change. He said SWALIMO wanted to have mayors and councillors who were members of the movement and who would not hinder its activities and protests.
Simelane said SWALIMO was not satisfied with the status quo and did not want the 2023 elections to be conducted under the Tinkhundla system. He said SWALIMO was pushing for a constitutional reform that would allow for a multiparty democracy, a separation of powers, an independent judiciary, a free media, and a respect for human rights.
He said SWALIMO was also lobbying the international community to support its cause and put pressure on the Eswatini government to implement democratic reforms. He said he had recently visited Europe and met with various officials and organizations, including the All Party Human Rights Group in London, to raise awareness about the situation in Eswatini.
He said SWALIMO was also working with other pro-democracy forces in Eswatini, such as political parties, trade unions, civil society groups, students, and religious leaders, to form a united front against the Tinkhundla system. He said SWALIMO was open to dialogue and cooperation with anyone who shared its vision of a democratic Eswatini.
He urged all Eswatini citizens who wanted democracy to join SWALIMO and support its struggle. He said SWALIMO was a non-profit organization that relied on donations from its members and supporters. He said SWALIMO had branches across the country and welcomed anyone who wanted to be part of the movement.