Mbabane – Newly formed political party, the Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO) has expressed its commitment to partake on the proposed upcoming national dialogue.
In a media statement titled ‘SWALIMO not an umbrella organisation and subscribes to freedom of speech for all journalists’, Secretary General Siphefu Dlamini, starts by indicating that the Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO) notes with concern issues raised in social media platforms relating to its founding principles.
“Of particular significance, its relationship with Swaziland News and or with its Editor Zweli Martin Dlamini. Accordingly, it wishes to place on record that it is not an umbrella political organisation; it never had such ambitions in the first place. It is for this reason that it works in collaboration with other political formations, civil society and political partners as an equal partner in the liberation struggle of Swaziland (Eswatini),” wrote the Secretary General in the statement.
The communique further highlights that the movement subscribes to principles of freedom of speech and association. To this end, Dlamini states that, the movement supports the rights of journalists to write freely without fear or favour.
“We place on record that there is no discord between SWALIMO, its leadership and any journalist for that matter. In a democratic Swaziland (Eswatini), all journalists will be free to practice their trade freely,” highlights Dlamini.
The Secretary General then adds, “SWALIMO is currently preparing for its participation in the National Dialogue as facilitated by the Multi Stakeholder Forum. We welcome the invitation to participate in this important engagement as a key player in the struggle.”
Meanwhile, it has been reported recently that preparations for the national dialogue have begun. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is presently making consultations with stakeholders.
This, according to media reports, was revealed by Barbara Lopi, the Head of Communications and Public Relations Unit for SADC. On November 2, 2021, the office of South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, the current chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, issued a statement.
The communique read; “President Ramaphosa and King Mswati III agreed that the SADC secretariat would work closely with the government of Eswatini to draft terms of reference for the national dialogue forum. These terms of reference will specify processes for the forum as well as the composition of the forum.”
Head of Communications at SADC was reported to have said, “consultations with all stakeholders in the dialogue are ongoing and what the president (Cyril Ramaphosa) said is true.”
In a statement after his meeting with the King, president Ramaphosa stated, “The deliberations resolved that the Kingdom of Eswatini will embark on a process that will work towards the establishment of a national dialogue forum.
This preparatory process will take place during the coming three months, a period during which His Majesty will undertake his annual, mandatory Incwala ceremony. The process towards the national dialogue will take into account and incorporate structures and processes enshrined in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Eswatini, including the role of the Parliament of the Kingdom, and the Sibaya convened by His Majesty King Mswati III.
Ramaphosa and His Majesty both called for all stakeholders to work together to end violence and conflict, and maintain peace and calm as work commences on the national dialogue process.
During Ramaphosa’s meeting with the King, it is understood that the two leaders held discussions on issues relating to the political and security situation in Eswatini following weeks of violent clashes between security forces and protestors.
Deputy Government Press Secretary, Thabile Mdluli said all activities relating to the national dialogue would take place after the Incwala ceremony. She said as many would recall that the chairperson’s statement made reference to an estimated three-month preparatory period.