November 30, 2006

Main opposition PUDEMO denies allegations of mounting a guerrilla force

In Swaziland, the banned main opposition party the People’s United Movement (PUDEMO) has rejected reports that it was mounting a guerrilla force to overthrow the country's monarch, King Mswati the third. Meanwhile, the Swazi government is accusing PUDEMO of trying to bring changes in the kingdom by terrorizing the population into submission by using guns and other weapons of destruction.

Mario Masuku, the leader of the banned opposition PUDEMO, said the Swazi government’s accusation is “a calculated propaganda”. “Nothing is further from the truth. Ours is to change the status quo in Swaziland from the dictatorship to a power to the people through constitutional multiparty democracy. But we do not have a military wing; we are not training people in those places that have been mentioned. We have no intentions of killing chiefs and the monarchy. It is the people of Swaziland who will decide what happens to the monarchy in a democratic Swaziland“, he said.

Masuku also emphasised that said the Swazi government was employing what he called clear propaganda tactics to divert attention from pressing issues of change in the country: “This is clear propaganda, the government through the monarchy is diverting from the actual issues in place in the country. The real issues are that in the midsts of democracies, Swaziland is a dictatorship, and people must be given a participatory role towards that transformation. This is what the Swazi government should be talking about,” he said.
Masuku announced that PUDEMO had called for a meeting with South African officials to assure them that the party is not training guerillas to overthrow the Swazi government. (Voa News, South Africa)

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