Communist Party of Swaziland
22 April 2022
The Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) held its 7th National Conference from 15-18 April 2022 in Mpumalanga, South Africa under the theme “Apply Correct Tactics to Achieve Democracy Now!” The Conference was attended by delegates from all structures of the Party, guests from fraternal organisations drawn from Swaziland and internationally.
The Conference was held at a crucial moment in our struggle where the masses of our country have taken decisive actions against the Mswati autocracy to achieve democracy. The year 2021 was historic, with numerous protests and campaigns across most sectors of our society against the dictatorship. Students in both tertiary and pre-tertiary institutions relentlessly waged protests against the deteriorating learning conditions in their institutions, school fees system and commodification of education in the country.
The people in rural communities also launched their campaigns against the exploitative chieftaincy system, an extension of the monarchy. The protests were mainly against land dispossession, forced labour and the heavy taxation of the people by the chiefs in the communities.
The people’s protests for democracy encountered violent repression from the regime. During 28-29 June 2021, over 70 Swazis were killed by the regime for demanding democracy. Many were crippled and injured by Mswati’s armed forces.
However, these repressive measures by the regime did not dim the people’s desire for freedom and democracy. The people of Swaziland continue to pursue their struggle even in the face of death.
The CPS Conference noted the positive rising level of consciousness among the people of Swaziland. For some time now, a large section of our country remained passive in the face of oppression and royal dominance in the country. Due to intimidation by the regime, they remained silent even during the continual heavy taxation. The people of Swaziland have transformed and taken swift action against the exploitation that has existed for more than 49 years now, since the infamous 12 April 1973 decree which took away all the freedoms that were to be enjoyed by the people of Swaziland. The people have shown a high level of commitment to end royal rule.
Conference also noted that the trade union movement has been lagging in the national liberation struggle. The state of the trade union movement was of great concern to delegates because this is a social force that is expected to play a significant role towards transformation of our society. Conference identified the key challenges facing the trade union movement which include a workerist approach on socio economic matters where workers confine themselves to only sectoral issues, often not expanding their view to the interrelationship of the issues they seek to tackle to the national issues. Some of them have not realised that their problems can never be separated from the global challenges perpetrated by capitalism.
Conference also observed the problems of opportunism and careerism among some leaders within the trade union movement. Many leaders ascend to leadership positions in trade unions not necessarily to service workers but for their own selfish desires, and some see leadership positions as some form of career.
The Conference observed the escalating level of poverty affecting most people in the semi urban areas (the urban poor community). Delegates noted the high levels of unemployment, poor sanitation and overcrowding which subsequently give birth to health problems. Conference noted the challenges of landlessness in that sector. Delegates noted the need to mobilise the urban poor community so that they can be in a position to fight for their own issues. The CPS will continue to mobilise the urban poor to rise against the regime, understanding that their struggles against current material problems are linked with the struggles for democracy based on people’s power.
Conference further observed the attitude of the Mswati autocracy, the violent resistance it has displayed towards the forces fighting for democracy in the country, as well as the desperation it has towards maintaining its already weakened rule. The regime has resorted to the use of unprecedentedly excessive force to prevent any mass action against it. The regime has deployed the military in cities, towns, institutions of learning, universities and schools in a desperate attempt to save the royal institution. A number of learners have been killed, arrested, others have been forced to escape the country for safety while others mysteriously disappeared.
The Conference discussed the need for an armed insurrection in defence of the people of Swaziland who are killed by the regime’s armed forces.
Delegates exposed all the elements that remain obstacles towards the establishment of unity and action in the struggle for democracy. Conference urged Party activists and leaders to work harder to unite all the oppressed people of Swaziland towards a decisive action to end the Mswati dictatorship. Conference also identified the lack of ideological training as well as infiltration of the liberation forces as some of the challenges that undermine the unity of the working-class forces. Delegates agreed that without the unity of the working-class forces, the democracy that the people yearn for will be delayed. The CPS reaffirms its commitment to building unity among the working-class forces by addressing the challenges that undermine unity among these forces.
Delegates also observed that women still suffer extreme exploitation. Women experience oppression at home, in their community and in the workplace. Conference discussed the state of the women’s movement, and ways in which the movement can be strengthened to ensure that women assume their revolutionary role in the struggle for democracy. The Conference reiterated the CPS position that there will be no true democracy in our country without the emancipation of women, and that the struggle against all elements of exploitation must be waged for the complete emancipation of all humanity.
The CPS 7th National Conference discussed the key areas in our struggles that needed our urgent commitment. It discussed the state of the different sectors of our society, workplace, institutions of learning, rural communities, the urban poor communities, and the tactics that need to be applied to rally the people in those defined sectors towards the struggle for democracy in the country. The Conference thus made the following declarations in line with its Conference theme “Apply the Correct Tactics to Achieve Democracy Now!”
ON THE DEMOCRACY NOW CAMPAIGN
The CPS will accelerate and strengthen its mobilisation in workplaces, institutions of learning, rural and the urban poor communities.
The CPS will popularise its “Democracy Now” campaign and rally all the forces of our society to speed up the process of democracy in the country.
On the Defiance Campaign
Conference discussed the implementation of the defiance campaign as a method to build strength of the pro-democracy movement to resist the onslaught by the regime towards pro-democracy activism. The campaign’s success will be measured on the impact it has towards depleting the material and human resource of the regime. This will also help to push the regime further to the defensive for the triumph of mass power to push the transition to the next stage of the establishment of the interim government.
Consumer boycotts, protests and sabotage of activities and programmes of the government will form part of the defiance campaign. Conference emphasised on the need to escalate direct action that will impact on the formidability of the dictatorship and its unpopular government.
On the Sunset Rallies
The Conference recognised the impact of the Sunset Rallies launched by the CPS on upgrading activism in the urban poor communities. These rallies give a platform as well as organise the urban poor communities into a force capable of fulfilling the role these communities have on dislodging the political elites and frustrating the functionality of the administration and management of the reactionary economy. The comfort of the rich must be spoiled.
On building a strong CPS
The Conference further recognised that without a strong, united and independent CPS, it will be impossible to drive forward the transition. The Party can only drive this if it is able to build itself and exist in all communities, working-class forces and must be equivalent to the task required by the struggle in the present moment. The struggle presently enjoys the support of the masses and the more decisive youth of our country which is prepared to put aside everything for the struggle.
ON CADRESHIP DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING
The CPS will continue its ideological work for Party comrades and the entire working class in Swaziland. The CPS fully appreciates the need for a clear guiding compass to direct the struggle for democracy along the correct path. The influence of liberal forces needs an aggressive contest which can only be achieved by ensuring that our ideological work extends beyond our organisation to the entire oppressed people of the country who are endowed with the task of bringing about democracy.
The CPS will also build its comrades’ intelligence capacity so that they minimise enemy threats and continue to execute their revolutionary duties. A hostile condition of threat has been created by the autocracy targeting party comrades, in an effort to prevent them from conducting their revolutionary tasks.
ON INFORMATION AND MEDIA
The CPS will hold training workshops for its members on media and communication, focusing on information gathering, analyses and dissemination. The CPS is forming the Information, Media and Communication Committee to better coordinate the work of Party communication.
The CPS will also intensify its contribution in the battle of ideas, firmly and continuously place to the front the working-class ideological line.
ON INTERNATIONAL WORK
The CPS reiterates its solidarity with the people of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and other countries facing United States imperialist aggression. The CPS also conveys its solidarity with the people of Western Sahara in their fight for freedom from Moroccan colonialism.
The CPS co-hosted together with SNUS the Israeli Apartheid Week on 4 April 2022, and this Conference reiterates the Party’s message to intensify solidarity with the Palestinian people. We call for the end of apartheid Israel’s colonial policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide.
The CPS will contribute to the African Left Networking Forum, working with other African Left forces in the struggle against imperialism, for true African sovereignty.
The CPS will continue to build international solidarity for the Swazi struggle and, in line with the Party’s “Not Another Cent for Mswati” campaign, calls for more freedom-loving people across the world to isolate the Swazi royal family and its stooges.
ON FINANCE AND FINANCIAL MOBILISATION
The CPS will work towards establishment of projects that will generate revenues to run party programs. The CPS will explore areas where small projects can be established to help Party cadres conduct their work ceaselessly.
ON THE OPPRESSION OF WOMEN AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE WOMEN CHARTER
The CPS will strengthen its mobilisation of women in workplaces, institutions of learning, rural communities and the urban poor communities to fight against royal oppression and patriarchy.
The CPS will strengthen its Women Commission to ensure it pursues its task of building a strong women’s movement. The women’s movement will organise campaigns around all the issues that affect women in the country, rally women into action against all forms of exploitation and also work towards the formulation of the Women’s Charter.
ON OTHER FORMS OF STRUGGLE
The Conference recognised that the regime is patched with a violent tactic to remain in power in spite of the open rejection by many in our society. Mswati and his government are quite aware that it is impossible for him to continue with his rogue state in the face of the conscious and resolute majority sections of our people. He is clinging to power by all means possible. The regime continues to disregard the influence of SADC as long as there is not enough and strong condemnation of the brutality imposed on our people. The region and the entire international community are still reluctant to declare the system as a dictatorship and the acts of the regime as a crime against humanity.
Clearly, we cannot continue with the struggle in the old traditions alone. The desperate acts of the masses are a simple indication that new tactics must be practically applied in conformity with our strategy of mass mobilisation which now needs to be galvanised with acts directed at the regimes capacity to run the dictatorship. If that will not be enough, we must not hesitate to move to the next stages of people’s warfare.
The Conference recognised that the greatest aspiration of our people is popular mass power to end any form of oppression and exploitation. This therefore leads us to organise to the maximum that our people play a role in each and every step of the processes of struggle, that the people must be involved in the war of resistance against the dictatorship.
Conference acknowledged that CPS members are a target by the regime in various ways. CPS members have been exposed to violence and murder by some rogue elements who make use of any genuine deference of opinions in the struggle. The CPS has the right to defend itself. The CPS will organise and strengthen its intelligence and security capacity so that it can sustain its revolutionary mission of bringing about democracy in Swaziland. The CPS will also work towards the establishment of security councils to ensure maximum protection of the communities against the enemy forces.
The CPS believes that only the unity of the oppressed people in their various sections and organisations can successfully accomplish the goal of freedom and democracy in our country. The Party will work towards this goal in spite of the challenges imposed by sectarian and petty bourgeois obsession of self-centeredness.
FORWARD TO SOCIALISM!