Mario Masuku is the president of PUDEMO, a party founded in 1983 to fight for multi-party democracy and social justice in Swaziland, an absolute monarchy where the majority live in
poverty, without basic rights.
PUDEMO works in partnership with the Danish Red Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) on a project supported by (DIPD). You can meet Mario Masuko:
Tuesday 18 June at 17:00
Location: Africa Contact, Blågårdsgade 7B
2200 Copenhagen N
Mario Masuku is constantly harassed by the Swazi regime, and has been imprisoned several times because of his political work. The longest was in 2008/9 where he was imprisoned for a year, accused of trying to overthrow the regime and of being a terrorist. When the case finally went to court, the trial lasted only 5 hours, and the judge dismissed all accusations and called the prosecution’s case “hopeless”.
The majority of Swaziland’s citizens are under increased pressure. Two-thirds of the population live on less than a dollar a day. Meanwhile a corrupt elite, with the autocratic King Mswati III at the head, live in unimaginable luxury. And when the democratic movement, lead by PUDEMO and trade unions, dares to question the status quo, calling for democracy, they are met with repression,
discrimination, espionage, beatings, torture, and in some cases murder.
Especially PUDEMO has been under fire in the nearly 30 years the movement has existed. The regime introduced anti-terror legislation that has been strongly criticized by e.g. Amnesty International, who call for it to be amended or abolished. This law is used to brutally suppress PUDEMO members, and to prohibit and prosecute any manifestation of support for the party.
Come and hear Mario Masuku talk about being a democracy activist in an absolute monarchy.
After Mario Masuko’s presentation there will be a discussion and questions on the strategies and methods for creating a democratic Swaziland.
By Peter Kenworthy, International Consultant for the Red Green Alliances DIPD project with PUDEMO, Swaziland
More about the Partnership: The Red-Green Alliance and Swaziland’s PUDEMO