Communist Party of Swaziland rallies behind striking workers
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The Communist Party of Swaziland has said it would continue to stand with the country's workers in their demand for justice.
This after reports of violent clashes erupted in eSwatini on Wednesday after police cracked down on civil servants protesting against low pay and rising living costs in Africa's last absolute monarchy.
"Workers must strengthen their unity and ensure to avoid infiltration by the regime. All efforts must lead towards a decisive national strike and uprising against the regime, for the dismantling of the tinkhundla system and replacement by a people's democratic republic," the party said.
On Wednesday, news agency AFP reported that police fired tear gas, stun grenades and water canons to disperse the crowd, who responded by pelting rocks at police cars and government buildings.
According to the news agency, frustrations have boiled over into a series of protests around the country this week.
This as more than 3,500 people marched in Mbabane and the neighbouring city of Manzini on Monday, and around 3 000 protesters showed up in the capital again on Wednesday.
The Communist Party of Swaziland said violence has been a reality in Swaziland since 1972 when King Sobhuza II bestowed executive, legislative and judicial powers upon himself.
The party said the task of fortification of unity was now more important than ever.
"Unity is the greatest strength that workers need in order to defeat the regime, along with militant and decisive action and leadership," it said.
The party said the Swaziland government has not implemented a cost of living adjustment for workers since 2016.
"It has, however, easily chosen to splash public funds on the royal family's extravagant lifestyle."
Meanwhile, the Swaziland Transport Communication and Allied Workers Union (SWATCAWU) president general Vusie Nkambule said the Wednesday strike has been met with unwarranted excessive force by the police.
"This led to multitudes of workers being hospitalised," Nkambule said, adding that their SWATCAWU leaders were detained for five hours and later released without charges preferred against them.
"I find this conduct by the Swaziland royal police to be one that is provocative, unprofessional and tortuous. It summarily ofends t inviolable rights to freedoms of association and assembly.
"We shall consider all forms of redress available including mass rolling action," he said.