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Pressemeddelelse fra Swaziland Democracy Campaign:
29th July 2010
SDC condemns the hosting of COMESA by Swaziland to take over as Chair of the organisation
The Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) condemns the hypocrisy and double standards of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) whose precursor, the then Preferential Treatment Area (PTA) was once hosted by Swaziland at the height of students brutalisation by the Swazi regime. It led to the king becoming the longest serving Chairperson of the PTA from 1990 till 1992 before its transformation to COMESA. The 19 member states COMESA claims to be fighting for the improvement in the economic conditions of the people of Southern and Eastern Africa, whilst propping up the Swazi dictatorship.
The fact that Swaziland is taking over the Chairpersonship of this body confirms its own positioning in the broader debate about the crisis of plunder, looting and extravagance by the royal family in Swaziland that has caused untold suffering to ordinary people and their families.
It must be clear to all and everyone, particularly to the rogue bureaucrats in COMESA that there can be no meaningful development or efficient utilisation of the vast endowment of this region’s natural resource capacity for the benefit of its people without effective accountability or transparency in governance. The fact that this summit being hosted by Swaziland is deliberately meant to coincide with the Swaziland International Trade Fair, which has become the annual economic jamboree of the royal regime, confirms the well calculated positioning and strategic posture of the summit and the institution itself. To crown it all, the COMESA Business Forum shall be held around the same time, which is the end of August, is meant to boost the ailing dictatorship’s economic clout in the context of the worsening crisis in the country.
The continued parading of Swaziland as a viable market for women trafficking is affirmed by the fact that the annual reed dance, Umhlanga is factored into all marketing material of Swaziland as a tourist attraction that must project women as a product to be marketed at such events. This is why the king is said to have invited the guests to also enjoy, amongst other products, this market during the proceedings.
It is even more worrying when considered in the context of the views raised by The Secretary General of the organisation, Sindiso Ngwenya when he said, “there is no country better placed than Swaziland at this critical period to fast-track the unification of the African Economic Community”. It is noteworthy that Swaziland is one of the few rogue states that have signed the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), which have massively undermined the regional integration process, particularly the critical role of SACU in driving that.
We call for regional organisations and the international community, at large, to reject this blatant act of hypocrisy and mobilise governments to boycott any association with this rogue regime. We further call for intensified mobilisation towards the Global day of action 6th September and the events already announced by the Swaziland Chapter of the SDC, particularly the call for smart sanctions against the oppressive Swazi regime.
Issued by SDC for more information contact Philani Ndebele on 076 9423565 and or Ntokozo Mbhele on 072 3700974 or email email@example.com