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THE Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) is calling for a “nationwide mass uprising against the regime” after government forces opened fire on democracy protesters at the weekend.
On Saturday, 15 marches were held across the country, with petitions delivered to MPs demanding democracy in Africa’s last absolutist monarchy.
In Manzini district, the march was attacked by armed officers who fired live bullets at peaceful protesters, although no injuries were reported.
Communists and trade unionists took part in the activities, which called “for the economy of the country to be democratically controlled by the people and the provision of free quality healthcare, education as well as other services.”
Political parties were banned in Swaziland — now known as Eswatini — in 1973, with King Mswati III commanding absolute power over the judiciary, executive and parliament.
Close to 70 per cent live below the poverty line, with more a third of the population in extreme poverty and reliant on the World Food Programme for food.
The CPS blames the monarchy for the situation and called today “for unity among the oppressed people for a nationwide mass uprising” to bring down the regime.
“The call must be a unifying one for democracy now, which includes the unconditional unbanning of political parties, unconditional release of political prisoners, unconditional return of political exiles, recognition and respect for the rights to freedom of speech, assembly and association,” it said in a statement.
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