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PRINCE MBILINI ERA, 27 DEMANDS IN PM’S BOOK

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MBABANE – It seems 1996 will forever go down memory lane with Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini for more reasons than one.


This was the same year the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU) organised a mass protest that saw the then Premier, Prince Mbilini, stepping down to give way to the current head of government.


In his book titled Inspiration: The Personal Journey of A Prime Minister of Swaziland, Dlamini lists 65 key dates from memory, one of which is 1996. The dates are from 1889, the year King Sobhuza II was born, to 2016, when His Majesty the King was elected Chairman of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).


Narrating about the 27 demands and the 1996 strike, Dlamini says, in the events building up to the strike, the SFTU conducted a campaign of door-to-door engagement to identify burning issues with the aim of improving the standard of living for workers across the country.


The premier says it was in this year that the SFTU launched a period of vigorous industrial action.
The book states that the demands were received in October 1993 by the then PM Obed Dlamini but with the elections on the cards, the demands lapsed for a while. The demands were revived during a time when Prince Mbilini was at the helm of government and this led to a change which saw the book writer assuming the position.


Dlamini recounts the strike action leading to the arrest of the then union leader and now Manzini North Member of Parliament Jan Sithole along with the current Speaker Themba Msibi, Jabulani Nxumalo and other events he described as tragic.

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