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Swaziland's Main Opposition PUDEMO Denies Allegations

In Swaziland, the banned main opposition party the People’s United Movement (PUDEMO) has rejected reports that it was mounting a guerrilla force to overthrow the country's monarch, King Mswati the third. Meanwhile, the Swazi government is accusing PUDEMO of trying to bring changes in the kingdom by terrorizing the population into submission by using guns and other weapons of destruction.

Mario Masuku is the leader of the banned opposition PUDEMO. He said the Swazi government’s accusation is “a calculated propaganda,”

“Nothing is further from the truth. Ours is to change the status quo in Swaziland from the dictatorship to a power to the people through constitutional multiparty democracy. But we do not have a military wing; we are not training people in those places that have been mentioned. We have no intentions of killing chiefs and the monarchy. It is the people of Swaziland who will decide what happens to the monarchy in a democratic Swaziland “ he said.

Masuku said the Swazi government is employing what he called clear propaganda tactics to divert attention from pressing issues of change in the country.

“This is clear propaganda, the government through the monarchy is diverting from the actual issues in place in the country. The real issues are that in the midsts of democracies, Swaziland is a dictatorship, and people must be given a participatory role towards that transformation. This is what the Swazi government should be talking about,” he said.

Masuku accused the government of trumped up charges against the PUDEMO in the recent petrol bombings that rocked the country.

“This happened again before during the bomb suspect. The government was pasting PUDEMO that we have terrorist, but the high court clearly stated that there was no iota of truth in the allegations so they were put out on bail. Similarly, here again they are accusing us… we are prepared to sit down with the government and see how we can transform Swaziland,” he noted.

Masuku said PUDEMO has called for a meeting with South African officials to assure them that the party is not training guerillas to overthrow the Swazi government.

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