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Communist Party of Swaziland urges unity with LGBT community in struggle for democracy

THE Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) reaffirmed its commitment to solidarity with the LGBT community today and called for an end to homophobic attacks.

The party’s position was reiterated at a summer school, where the need to declare LGBT rights as human rights was stressed.

CPS general secretary Thokozane Kenneth Kunene said that LGBT people “are part of us and we are part of them.

“They are members of our families, our party and the broader community. They also make their contribution to the struggle for democracy,” he said.

“The LGBT community forms a part of the oppressed and exploited who must be emancipated from the Mswati tyranny,” Mr Kunene continued. 

“That can only be achieved when the people unite for a common cause under the Democracy Now campaign.”

He insisted that as the people continue their struggle against the absolutist monarchy, unity is vital in the march towards “total democracy.”

“The struggle that the people of Swaziland are waging demands that everyone unites to overthrow the Mswati regime,” Mr Kunene said.

“The people’s struggles necessitate the equal participation of the LGBTQI+ community, among other groups, in the trenches to dismantle the autocracy.”

Homosexuality is illegal in Swaziland, which is now known officially as Eswatini, and King Mswati III has described same-sex relationships as “satanic.”

Attacks on those accused of being gay are on the rise, while 59 per cent of LGBT people who responded to a 2019 survey reported being discriminated against at public health facilities and 30 per cent said that they had been denied healthcare because of their sexuality.

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