The Communist Party of Swaziland held its 4th National Congress from 2-4 April 2021 in Mpumalanga, South Africa, under the theme “DECISIVE MOBILISATION FOR DEMOCRACY NOW”. The Congress was attended by delegates from all the structures of the organisation. The Congress also received solidarity messages of support from international revolutionary organisations.
The CPS 4th National Congress was held at the backdrop of a global Covid-19 pandemic which has caused more havoc and loss of life in the world. Over 2 859 650 people have succumbed to the virus, as per estimates by the World Health Organisation’s 4th April 2021 updates. In Swaziland, 668 people have been reported dead with 17 349 active cases on the same dates. All indicators show, however, that the numbers are far higher than the officially reported ones, as there are many poor people who died without accessing medical care, due to the collapsed healthcare system under tinkhundla autocracy.
The Covid-19 pandemic crisis proved that capitalism is unable to solve crises faced by humanity due to the system’s inherent subordination of human lives in preference for accumulation of private profits for capitalist giants. The devastating effects of the pandemic were more visible in the imperialist countries, in particular the United States of America (USA), as more lives were lost in those countries. On the other hand, those countries with a socialist orientation, as well as those whose healthcare systems are premised on human health and not private profits, fared far better in dealing with the pandemic, as the examples of Cuba, North Korea, China and Vietnam showed.
The Congress took place a few days before the 10th anniversary of the CPS, 9 April. Congress reflected on work done in the 10-year history and the task ahead as we enter what the CPS has termed, the Decade of Liberation against the Mswati autocracy. Notable strides along the key tasks of the CPS which include; give direction to the struggle, lead the struggles of the working class and unite the working-class forces with the broader oppressed sections of our population.
Congress realised that the majority of the people in the country now understand that it is only by overthrowing the autocracy that a true democracy to resolve the political, economic and grinding social problems in our country can be achieved. The working class realises that it is the only class best positioned to lead active struggles against national and imperialist oppression and draw the broader oppressed people to struggle for democracy and social progress in our country.
Congress further realised that the unity of the oppressed people still remains a challenge with obstructions from sectarians who are driven by selfish narrow interests and stupid egoism. Political education and ideological training are examples of pillars that have helped the CPS gain a key position of influence through raising class consciousness to the workers and youth. The significant role of the CPS is realised as well as our ability to defend the Party from vile anti-communist attacks as well as fervent attempts at infiltration of our Party by the ruling monarchist tinkhundla regime.
Congress reaffirmed our Party’s commitment to build socialism in the country to end all forms of oppression and guarantee protection of human life.
Congress observed the growing level of poverty and deteriorating life condition of the people of Swaziland as propagated by the high levels of corruption and monarchical despotism by the Mswati regime. The regime continues to loot public funds in various areas such as has been observed with the systematic looting of the public pension fund. The regime has also imposed arbitrary fines to vulnerable groups, including the armed forces and struggling rural people to raise money to fund its ailing fiscus and to sustain the monarchy’s lavish lifestyle.
Congress further observed the acute state of the crisis in the Mswati autocracy. The regime is struggling to finance itself by its normal formula and is opting for other options. The lavish lifestyle of Mswati and his family combined with excesses in maintaining state repression can no longer be funded from the normal exploitation of the working class and stealing from state resources. The new options of making the poor to pay through dispossessions of land and subsistence outputs from the rural people, introduction of exorbitant user fees on all services to the people, steep education, transport, electricity and food costs is part of the state aggression against the people.
Congress also observed the level of women exploitation not only by the regime in the country but also by capitalism in general. Congress noted how culture, media, education and religion have been used as weapons of exploitation and subjugation of women in the country.
Only through a total overthrow of the autocracy and its replacement with a socialist republic will our country comprehensively reverse the hardships of today and forge a new path free from exploitation, rapid economic development, continuous improvement of lives of the people and promotion of international friendship which society desires.
The Congress made the following declarations in affirmation of the Decisive Mobilisation for Democracy Now in our country. Congress discussed in detail on the need for more aggressive tactics to advance the struggle to achieve democracy now. The Mswati autocracy must be ended through decisive programmes that will mobilise the majority oppressed to effective action.
This means giving a meaningful support to the daily struggles of the working class, the peasants whose land is daily dispossessions, workers’ strikes against workplace exploitation, demands for social services, security and decent life to the vulnerable poor, protests against oppression, the fight against marginalisation and state violence against the people and for the people’s rights and justice in our land. More important is decisive mobilisation to end violence against women and diverse sexual orientations.
Congress isolated the following areas to rally on.
The CPS will work harder to deepen strong roots with the masses through establishing strongholds in the workplace, campuses and communities. The CPS will continue to build alliances with working-class organisations and promote cooperation. CPS will strengthen underground mobilisation as state repression and brutality against activists by the regime intensifies.
The CPS will intensify its efforts to isolate the regime from the people and international community, paralyse its relations with its allied forces whilst systematically eroding its capacity to run the autocracy. The CPS will make its contribution to making the country ungovernable by the autocracy through mass protests that will sabotage the operations of the dictatorship targeted on areas that matter most to the repressive functionality of the corrupt and hated government. We must end the comfort of the ruling elite which is derived from the toil of the people and loot of the country’s resources.
The CPS will continue with its ideological training to fully capacitate Party cadres to implement the Party programme. The Party will also make advancements in its strategic recruitment and building of local unit structures in workplaces, schools and campuses, communities and strategic sections of our society to ensure effective carrying of the Party programme. The CPS will also strengthen its campaigns to raise political consciousness of the people.
The Party will continue to run political education and training programmes for new and old comrades to master the art of struggle and improve organisational and political performance of the CPS. Party cadres must be able to do work even in complicated situations with minimum fuss yet with outstanding results.
The Party will strengthen propaganda and agitation capacity, which shall include training of cadres, coordination and administrative capacity of this unit to effectively discharge tasks.
The Party will improve its communication and information capacity, assemble communication infrastructure for effective communication within the Party, with the people and organisations including with our allies and international community. The Party will explore all communication avenues and spaces to take our messages across timely and accurately.
Party cadres are mandated to defend the CPS against infiltration by counter forces, protect members against state security agents, protect valuable information of the Party against spies and agent provocateurs. The CPS will work hard to improve political understanding and discipline of members to keep vigilance as the environment continues to be hostile against Party activists, and expose those rats discovered to be working against the Party. The best defence is building grassroots strongholds of the CPS actively fighting against all forms of oppression and exploitation of our people.
The resource and finance capacity of the CPS need particular attention. The basis source of finance is from the membership through subscriptions pledges and the creativity of members. Both internal and external sources of finance will be explored to finance Party programmes and activities.
The CPS will upscale recruitment of members into the Party and the mass movement; student and youth movement, trade union movement, women organisations, community organisations and other civil society organisations. The aim is to mobilise as much from the working class to active struggles in opposition of the autocracy.
The Party will select the most trusted, and committed to its ranks and orient ideologically, politically to the tasks of the CPS through programmes and campaigns.
The CPS will mobilise along the pro-democracy formations and across all sections of the oppressed and lead a campaign that will rally the oppressed people against the autocracy and for the unbanning of political parties under the campaign Democracy Now.
The Party will focus on the youth for the establishment of the 12 April Movement which will rally the broad section of young people in the country to militant struggles to end the dictatorship for the establishment of a democratic dispensation.
The CPS will intensify its propaganda and organisational work to mobilise mass activism demanding the dissolution of tinkhundla government and its autocratic state apparatus.
The CPS will strengthen its work of building units in the rural and semi-urban areas where land expropriation and eviction of people from their land is rife.
The CPS will also strengthen its Land for Food Campaign which aims at ensuring that land is used for food production to sustain the livelihood of the people as opposed to royal privatisation for the interest of private profits.
The Party will work with the rural youth, women and peasant farmers towards industrial rural development and cooperative agricultural production. Through this kind of mobilisation, the rural people’s movement will be established to unite the people around their common interests on the land and agrarian question in our country and advance the Land For Food Campaign. Farms owned by the members of the royal family and political elites will be rallying points in demands for land for food.
The CPS will strengthen the campaign against mass corruption and looting of state resources by the monarchy and its political elites. We will continue calling for Not Another Cent for Mswati – SEKWANELE – by targeting all activities of the royal family including bashes, festivals, traditional ceremonies, trips, businesses which are the obvious outlets for their loot of state resources. Such activities should be targeted for sabotage until they are abandoned to save the country’s funds.
The CPS will work with the public service workers in their campaign against the looting of the pension fund by the royal family.
The CPS will use this year’s May Day to call for workers in the country to unite against the deteriorating socio-economic state of the working-class people in the country in the midst of mass looting by the royal family and political elites. This mass drain is taking place along inclined police brutality against workers in protests, increased workplace exploitation, shameful state of the bargaining platform.
The CPS declares an unapologetic activism within the trade union movement, in particular shop floor mobilisation and recruitment of workers to unions for working class unity, strong trade unions and workers control of unions through detailed democratic practices. We will continue to expose trade union careerists who use unions for their selfish interests such as self-enrichment and using the unions as a stepping-stone for their personal career interests whilst workers exploitation worsens.
The CPS reiterates its support for the workers’ federation, the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA). Party cadres and activists will be part and parcel of mobilising workers across all sectors to join May Day rallies organised by TUCOSWA.
The CPS will use May Day to increase the call for its Democracy Now campaign and also rally workers to engage in decisive actions to bring about freedom and democracy in the country in the struggle towards socialism.
The CPS will reinforce the call for the need to organise unorganised workers and rally more unions to be part of TUCOSWA and support all its revolutionary activities.
The CPS will strengthen its workplace Party activism to raise workers’ class consciousness, improve trade union organisation, and lead resistance against exploitation by the bosses in the workplace.
Unless the tinkhundla dictatorship is overturned, workers’ rights attacked by the state will worsen, with no prospects of sustained improvement of working conditions and change of standards of living for workers and the entire working-class people who are in grinding poverty.
The CPS will combine the struggles against workplace exploitation with the struggle for Democracy Now.
The CPS will run revolutionary activities inside and outside Swaziland, based largely in communities and workplaces, to highlight the levels of oppression of the people by the Mswati’s autocracy. Through these activities, the Party also aims to enlighten the people on the history of the Communist Party and the struggles the Party has endured in the fight to end oppression in Swaziland.
We will use the anniversary to bring focus on the strategies and tactics as we enter the Decade of Liberation.
The CPS will engage with the many non-governmental organisations, women activists and international organisations to make meaningful efforts to end the scourge of oppression of women. The situation facing women in Swaziland is dire. it is clear that the situation will not be addressed within the present regime’s approaches since the syndicate involved in this is within the very same ruling family.
The CPS will actively mobilise young and rural women as a priority to join the ranks of the Party. Along with this task is the task of Party activists to devise measures to defend women gender activists who are intimidated and harassed in the course of mobilising women against oppression.
The CPS will work to establish social clubs and associations that will help women and other vulnerable groups to develop techniques on self-defence including security awareness art.
The CPS continues to collaborate with other international revolutionary forces in the fight against imperialist aggression spearheaded by the USA. On this score, the CPS reiterates its solidarity with the people of Cuba and Venezuela who have faced the hardest brunt of the USA’s military, political and economic aggression over the years. The CPS congratulates the people of Bolivia for overturning the pro-USA counter-revolution, ensuring the return of Comrade Evo Morales from exile.
The CPS stands firm in solidarity with the people of Palestine in their fight for their land, against apartheid Israel.
The CPS notes the rebuilding of the Africa Left Networking Forum (ALNEF), in which it is also participating. The Party will make meaningful contributions in this drive, calls upon more revolutionary organisations to also play their role in building a decisively anti-imperialist ALNEF which must also fight against the parasitic appropriation of public resources by some members of the parasitic bourgeoisie in the African continent.
We will continue to share to the world our struggles as it develops, mobilise practical solidarity to meet the requirements of our struggle and lobby for the isolation of the Mswati dictatorship by governments and other institutions of the world. We will continue engaging the continental and regional governments to put meaningful pressure to Mswati to give space to democracy before it is too late.
We will improve our relations with communist and left parties in the African continent as a priority to establish a continental anti-imperialist campaign, for a socialist alternative.
The Struggle continues!
Victory is certain!
Thokozane Kenneth Kunene
(+27)72 594 3971
(+27)81 353 3383