Swazi students elect new leadership during vibrant congress

Maxwell Dlamini“The congress was characterised by vigorous and vibrant debate which saw the students of Swaziland declaring the year 2013 as a year of action, turning each and every institution into a site of struggle for democracy and quality education for all,” outgoing President of the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS), Maxwell Dlamini, tells Africa Contact.

Maxwell Dlamini congratulated his replacement as President, Mnikelo Dlamini, and applauded the fact that several women were elected into the leadership if SNUS for the first time in the history of the organisation.

Mancoba Mabuza, a former UNISWA student, in turn praised Maxwell’s leadership.“Congratulations for leading SNUS into greater heights, for your passion to serve the students and the youth, for leading the students union even when you were in prison! You have done exceptionally well and you were also able to mentor other leaders who have just succeeded yourself.”

During the congress, SNUS pledged to boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections in Swaziland, says Maxwell Dlamini, and work other pro-democracy organisations in a campaign to try and persuade the population at large not to participate either.

According to the latest report from Freedom House, Swaziland’s population effectively have no political rights and very limited civil liberties. “Swaziland is not an electoral democracy. King Mswati III is an absolute monarch with ultimate authority over the cabinet, legislature, and judiciary.”

As for student-related matters, Maxwell Dlamini says that the congress pledged that SNUS will continue to campaign against unjust educational policies and in solidarity with Swaziland’s youth and students. “We resolved to offer solidarity to other oppressed people of the youth most especially the youth and students who are subjected to the same harsh treatment of dictators.”

In a Working Paper from the World Bank called The Education System in Swaziland, describes the educational system in Swaziland’s “key weaknesses pertain to low access uneven and inequitable quality, acute inequalities, resource inefficiency, poor relevance and weak strategic direction and delivery capa

 

By Peter Kenworthy, Africa Contact

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