TUCOSWA President Quinton Dlamini, Secretary General Vincent Ncongwane and Deputy National Organising Secretary Phumelele Dlamini-Zulu leading the members in song.
Drama, confusion and mayhem are just some of the words that could describe the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) meeting which failed to take off yesterday.
The meeting held at the Swaziland National Teachers Association (SNAT) Centre in Manzini was barred from taking place by the police.
The main reason the meeting was stopped from taking place was the inclusion of multi party democracy in the agenda that was to be deliberated on the day.
The meeting was initially slated for the Bosco Skills Centre in Manzini, but the police are said to have approached the owners of the centre and advised them not to allowing the federation to hold their meeting there.
The meeting was attended by a number of police both uniformed and plain clothed who made sure the proposed meeting attended by close to 100 members could not take place.
Also in attendance were high ranking officials in Manzini Regional Commissioner Richard Mngometulu and Senior Operations Officer Josefa Bhembe
Other members of the federation were, however, blocked from entering the centre by the police who took over from the security guards who manned the gates while others were said to be turned back by the police at roadblocks mounted around the country.
The executive committee members led by the Federation’s President Quinton Dlamini were, however, allowed to address the members.
Dlamini explained to the members that the police had gone out of their way to stop their meeting.
“The police started by threatening Bosco Skills Centre and now they have come here to stop the meeting.
“It is clear now that they do not want us to have the meeting. What is, however, unfortunate in this matter is that we will not remove the multi party democracy item in our agenda because it is us that included it and not the police,” he said.
Dlamini said they would not deter in their fight for democracy despite the efforts by the police to disrupt their meetings.
“The police want us to go here, but I am not going anywhere just because they want me to do so.
“I have called this meeting and I will take time to address the members.
“They have been stopping our members from attending this meeting by mounting a number of roadblocks,” he said.
‘Next meeting we are going outside the border’
The Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) has resolved to have their meeting just outside the Ngwenya Border Post on March 14.
This was announced by the federation’s Secretary General Vincent Ncongwane after a brief caucus with the unions’ secretary generals at the SNAT Centre in Manzini yesterday.
This is the day in which TUCOSWA would be celebrating yet another ‘birthday’ since its formation in 2012.
The secretary generals of the different unions were allowed to meet briefly during the failed meeting yesterday.
It was after that caucus that Ncongwane revealed to the members their proposed solution to the matter.
“It is clear that we need multi-party democracy because the police are always exercising their powers over us. we have resolved that we take our meeting to where democracy is allowed and that is South Africa.
“They cannot stop us from crossing the border, especially as individuals. Then we will see what they will do to us in as far as their power is concerned. The good thing is that the border post closes at midnight so there is ample time,” he said.
The executive committee was then given the go ahead by the members to start working on this issue.
“This is an issue that we will start working on as soon as the week starts on Monday,” he said. Some of the members given the podium appealed that as workers they stand together and avoid having meetings on the same day as this then divides them. The members also appealed that they support this initiative by making sure they flood the border game come March 14.
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