OSISA reiterates calls for inclusive national dialogue in eSwatini

OSISA reiterates calls for inclusive national dialogue in eSwatini

For Immediate Release: 20 May 2022
Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee | New Frame

The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) reiterates calls for inclusive national dialogue in eSwatini. We are extremely concerned by the deteriorating social, economic and political situation in the country and view inclusive national dialogue as a necessary and peaceful step towards ending the growing malaise. This dialogue should be benchmarked upon best practices and standards for processes of a similar nature and necessarily ensure that popular aspirations for freedom, democracy and good governance are realized.

We believe in, and work to support the building of vibrant and tolerant democracies. Hence, the prevailing situation in eSwatini, largely characterized by a contracting economy, lack of social services, restricted political space and violent attacks on pro-democracy movements, is untenable. The people of eSwatini should enjoy their democratic rights, including social and economic justice and the rule of law. The government has a particular obligation to adhere to human rights principles. As such, we associate ourselves with African Union’s (AU) 2018 recommendations to the government of eSwatini which:

  • Encourages the Government and Legislature to consider reviewing the 1973 decree, which dissolved and prohibited all political parties and similar bodies in eSwatini and allow parties to freely participate in the electoral process in accordance with provisions of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; and
  • Urges the eSwatini authorities to consider entrenching the principle of separation of powers between the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary in accordance with the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

 

A note on our work in eSwatini

In eSwatini, our most recent work has included support to the government and citizens to respond to, and recover from COVID-19. We have assisted the national response to the pandemic by providing key health equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and also establishing and equipping the testing centre. We support the active participation of young people, women and other historically marginalised citizens to access education. We have also supported measures to enhance resilience and recovery of women informal traders during COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, we also support citizen-led efforts to find lasting and sustainable political solutions to the country’s crisis, including the documentation of human rights abuses and efforts at holding known perpetrators accountable.

 

Issued by:

Siphosami Malunga, Executive Director

Queries: content@osisa.org | www.osisa.org

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