TUCOSWA RESPONDS TO MINISTER MGWAGWA ON TRADE UNION’S NON- INVOLVEMENT IN DISCUSSIONS OF THE DEVELOPMENTAL GOALS

2012-02-19 15.41.25

TRADE UNION CONGRESS OF SWAZILAND (TUCOSWA)

Esser Street                                                 P. O. Box 1158

Mandlenkosi Building                                 Manzini

2nd Floor Office #4                                                Tel/Fax: +268-25059514/5

Email: tucoswa@swazi.net/tucoswa@yahoo.com

__________________________________________________________________________

Ingabe uti vile yini uMhlonishwa Mgwagwa kutsi abe phendvula ini when he dismissed our concerns about non-involvement in the deliberations of developmental issues per the Swazi News dated 10th October 2015.

It can only be in Swaziland that players in discussions of developmental issues are viewed as not the business of Trade Unions (futsi impela!). Clearly the Hon. Minister seems not to know that we are in the recently gazetted National Social Dialogue Steering Committee, having been there since its inception in the days of the late Hon Albert Shabangu. He should have asked his colleague in cabinet – the Minister of Labour and Social Security who chairs this committee whether indeed this is our business or not. He does not know.

To say that the Post Development Goals are discussed by Heads of States and not unions, displays an astonishing lack of understanding. Issues that involve civil society (of which workers are a part Mr Minister), are issues that are not the business of Heads of States or Governments only. They are issues that involve all. The Minister shows even a lack of appreciation of SADC’s Indicative Strategy Development Plan, where it talks about the plan, and we quote its words affirming the “commitment of SADC member states to good political, economic and corporate governance entrenched in a culture of democracy, full participation by civil society, transparency and respect for the rule of law”.

 The venerable Minister seems unaware of the 26th May 2013 commitment by African leaders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, when discussing the African Union’s agenda 2063, when they assured us, their civil society and not themselves, hopefully, that “the agenda calls for participation and inclusion of all stakeholders in its conception, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. It is said that this will enhance awareness, ownership and knowledge of the agenda, which aims to be fully participatory and owned by all the continent’s stakeholders with the full encouragement of women and youth to rekindle the spirit of working together toward collective prosperity, and a common destiny under a strong and united Africa”.

 

In the light of these words by the region’s and continent’s leaders, how does the Minister make such an irresponsible dismissive statement? Please someone, tell us that he was misquoted, then, we will understand.

 

We maintain the position we stated in New York that Governments should involve civil society when developing these plans. Without such involvement, then our Governments are planning to fail and all the words in the strategic plans they go around the continent signing, become just words not worth the paper they are written on.

 

We are confident that his colleagues in Cabinet and Parliament, will call him to order before we endure further embarrassment.

 

Yours Faithfully

Vincent V. Ncongwane

          Secretary General