On Sunday, the 15th of January 2012 Coordinating Committee of the April 12 Swazi Uprising Movement met in Madonsa to discuss the state of the movement and the programme of action for the year 2012.
From the discussions held it became very clear that there was an urgent need to clarify the nature of the movement to its members, supporters and sympathizers. Moreover there was a need to strengthen existing units and to embark on a drive to create new ones in every corner of the future republic.
The April 12 Swazi Uprising Movement is a revolutionary mass movement whose primary aim is to abolish the Swazi monarchy and create an Egalitarian Democratic Republic in its place by means of a mass popular uprising. The movement is not a one event movement whose sole aim is to mobilise people to demonstrate on the streets every year on the 12th of April.
Of particular importance to the movement this year is the activation as many underground units in as many places as possible. Experience has taught the Coordinating Committee that the movement’s members lack initiative. No matter how loudly the command of creating movement units is repeated members still fail to do so. As a result of this the Committee has taken it upon itself to take a hands-on approach in the creation and training of the movement’s units in every part of the country.
With these units firmly in place the next logical move will be the decentralization of the decision making processes. All units are expected to be autonomous enough to make decisions by themselves but remain accountable to the rest of the movement. This is meant to enable greater flexibility within the movement and to encourage initiative and creativity.
In the immediate future these units will be responsible for creating village and urban councils all over the country. These councils are to form the foundation for a future participatory democracy which will be based on the principle of absolute democracy – grassroots popular leadership. They will also replace the monarchy’s aristocracy –the Chiefs and their tindvuna – in the coming Republic.
The movement acknowledges the great contribution made by civic organizations in the Struggle for democracy in the country and wishes to extend its hand once again to another year of fruitful partnerships. The April 12 Uprising Movement will always support the initiatives of Unions, Village Associations, political parties and other organizations but always taking direction from them. When these organizations play a supporting role in April 12 initiatives it is therefore appropriate that April 12 Movement activities be directed and led by April 12 itself.
The movement’s Coordinating Committee also recognises the movement’s unique ability to dominate cyber space and multi-media and has chosen to increase its focus on these modern mobilisation tools. The April 12 Swazi Uprising Facebook page has grown to a staggering 3200 members and continues to be as busy as it was initially. It also has affiliate pages such as the “Swaziland Cultural Boycott” and “The Real Staff” amongst other less known groups.
On the other hand the country’s talented revolutionary artists have also recorded songs that are meant to carry forth the message of revolution. In this day and age where the average cellular phone has the ability to access the internet and play music, there is great opportunity to spread our political thoughts to a larger number of people than even the ruling regime, whose broadcasting methods are fast becoming irrelevant.
All members of our movement should therefore seize the opportunity and create poetry and music continuously as a means of mobilising the future republic’s citizens and counter the propaganda spread by the ruling regime.
Popular culture has also played a significant role in creating awareness about our struggle internationally. The Swaziland Solidarity Network’s Cultural Boycott initiative for example has mobilised support for our struggle from many internationally acclaimed artists. The movement needs to define the role that it should play in order to intensify this boycott both within the country and outside.
The movement also wishes to extend its gratitude to all organisations that made the 2011 April 12 mass demonstrations the great success that they were. Our movement can now proudly say that on the 12th of April 2012 it will be celebrating the reactivation of the country’s mass popular movement in 2011 rather than commemorating the declaration of the draconian decree by the so-called king (Mfa)Mona in 1973.
Our movement’s greatest legacy in history so far has been making this day be associated with people’s power rather than the dictatorship of the monarchy. This is the reason why this year’s activities should be greater in number and bigger in magnitude. Swazis of all ages must no longer think of this date with a sense of despair and despondency but rather with pride and dignity.
It cannot be forgotten, however, that two of our finest organisers Maxwell Dlamini and Musa Ngubeni are now behind enemy lines as a result of the regime’s missions to crush last year’s protests. These two comrades must be supported monetarily to ensure that they are bailed out of prison.
It does not paint a good picture of this movement if its members cannot make simple sacrifices for the release of their fellow comrades. All members need to dig deep into their purses and make the necessary monetary contribution. Moreover, they should support the two by attending their trial.
As democrats, as republicans and as revolutionaries our movement’s membership must exhibit the greatest hunger for freedom from this authoritarian regime. The vision that we have for this country is the hardest to achieve, as a result we need to fight harder than the existing civic organizations. The last thing that this movement should do is aim to commemorate decades of failure.
There is absolutely nothing to be proud of in having taken decades to achieve absolutely nothing. With enough courage and determination the movement’s mission can be accomplished in less than one decade. However, this necessitates that all members dig deeper within them and unleash their creativity and passion.