Swaziland - Aggrieved soldiers form secret union

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Feb 20 2008 11:50
Swaziland - Aggrieved soldiers form secret union

Aggrieved soldiers form secret union

BY ARTHUR MORDAUNT

MBABANE – Following failed attempts to set up a legitimate union, aggrieved soldiers are now alleged to be in a move to operate through an underground organisation.

Although officially the army is not aware of the organisation, the Times and several other organisations have received documents claiming its underground existence.

The group goes by the name of Swaziland Revolution and Liberation Force (SRLF), alias Sagila Sesive and it comprises "oppressed officers, discharged members of the force, unfairly discharged troops and young men rejected at recruitment."

The army chiefs have since been informed of the secret moves and have launched investigations into the reports.

It is not clear whether this new formation is a political organisation or a labour movement, but it has declared that it is an underground movement. So secretive is this organisation that even its documentation, particularly that which is meant as correspondence between Sagila Sesive and its sympathisers is handwritten.

This, states the organisation, is meant to avoid being traced, taking into consideration the supposedly advanced technology used by intelligence agencies in the country.

The Times is in the possession of copies of some of this correspondence, which had been written to some local political and labour organisations, notifying them of Sagila's existence. The army, King's Office and two government ministries (Foreign Affairs and Public Service) have also been informed.

notified

Externally, the American government (through its embassy), the African National Congress (ANC) as well as the United Nations (UN) have been notified.

Sagila Sesive (The country's knobkerrie) is also aimed at fighting alleged corruption within the ranks of the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF).

The organisation stated that it was not happy about certain leaders in the army. It also stated that it sympathised and shared a similar vision with those who are against the Tinkhundla system of governance.

Part of its mission cannot be repeated due to national security interests. National Public Service and Allied Workers Union (NAPSAWU) Secretary General Vincent Dlamini said they had not formally received the correspondence, but said it was an interesting idea, which would be dealt with once they had seen the correspondence. His counterpart at Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU), Jan Sithole, also stated that they had not seen the notification.

Army Public Relations Officer Captain Khanya Dlamini also said his office had not received the correspondence, but later said they were going to launch serious investigations into the matter. He said he had already briefed some of the army superiors about the issue.

Principal Secretary in the Foreign Affairs Ministry Clifford Mamba said he was currently out of the country and, therefore, was not aware of the letter. His ministry is in charge of the army.

Link: http://www.times.co.sz/002.html#article8