When employees of the public transport engaged in a protest that nearly liberated this country a few weeks ago, one was expecting the Trade Union of Congress of Swaziland(TUCOSWA) to call a protest in support of those workers and ground the country.
But it seems like that organization had nothing to offer to the employees except to collect subscriptions from affiliates while workers in various industries across the country are struggling.
It is important to state that as we advocate for democracy, we don’t want leaders who will turn the plight of the people into a special project and those who want to call their own protests so that they can shine, working collectively for a common purpose is fundamental at this critical time of the struggle.
Furthermore, it is important to remind all leaders in the progressive movement and trade unions that Swazis want freedom, it doesn’t matter whether democracy is achieved through efforts by public transport employees, pro-democracy MPs, political parties, trade unions, independent journalists or street vendors.
What TUCOSWA did a few weeks ago was a shame, they waited for the protest by public transport employees to end, only to call their own protest that failed to attract large numbers, may the souls of Jan Sithole and Mario Masuku Rest-In-Peace .
As an editor, I would not be doing justice for the Swazis if criticism would be only directed to Mswati yet we have selfish leaders in the pro-democracy movement whose egos must be massaged first before they do what they are supposed to do.
Furthermore, this narrative suggesting that criticizing leaders of the pro-democracy movement at this critical time is dividing the struggle cannot be allowed. Criticism is the ‘vaccine’ for any public officer and the struggle cannot be divided by positive criticism that seeks to hold them accountable, unless we have weak leaders who believe we must massage them, unfortunately, there are no political therapists in a struggle for democracy.
We need leaders who subscribe to accountability of power and as the independent media, we cannot be given a timetable when to criticize leaders.
The people have demonstrated their commitment to be liberated and we cannot be delayed by leaders who believe their egos must be massaged first before they call a protest that seeks to liberate the people.
The democracy we want is urgent because people are dying, some are shot and killed, others die in hospitals due to the non-availability of drugs while others were starved to death by Mswati’s regime.
Any leader with the interests of the people at heart will understand that the people must be ushered into a democratic dispensation as a matter of urgency.
A mere collaboration between the public transport employees and all unions affiliated to TUCOSWA can liberate this country within a month, but just because we have leaders who want to shine, the struggle is being delayed.
It is important to state and emphasize that even if the democracy could be achieved through efforts by public transport employees, those employees would become heroes to the people.
As TUCOSWA affiliates hold the elective conference, they must elect leaders who will put the people’s interest first, this organization is slowly becoming useless.
Workers are being underpaid by capitalists and forced into poverty, we are not seeing any meaningful effort by their trade unions in assisting them.
In conclusion, it is important to remind political leaders that no single political party, trade Union or any organization can liberate this country, what is important here is a collective effort from all stakeholders.
TUCOSWA holds its elective conference.