King Mswati III pledges E91million (SZL) ($6million USD) to Global Fund while the situation at our hospitals is even dire, we have gone without medication for months on ends, it is anyone's guess where the money to procure some more drugs and medication will come from. Elderly people don't get their grant, sometimes they go for months without their grant, disabled people are not even in the picture (not taken care of) - talking about orphans - they cannot access education and can go for days without food, yet Mswati has more than enough to give away whilst his own people are starving and scraping by just to stay alive.

Mswati  is spending money wrecklesly and recently he's been to the United Nations Summit in New York with his children still spending money without thinking of the destitute Swazi people. We have had enough of this! One has to stand up and talk about it. We have had enough of this!!!!!

Liyafa live sibuka!!!!  Phansi ngaMakhosetive Phansi!!!!

By: Thulile Dlamini

 

References:

[1]. http://new.observer.org.sz/details.php?id=10495

 

First it was Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini, now it is you Mandvulo! How long are we, as a nation, going to be deprived of our human rights?  New PM is just doing the same as Barnabas was doing.  When the king chose you Mandvulo, the nation was assured that you were going to build a country that all Swazi people will be proud of and you promised human rights to all people, but instead you are continuing Sibusiso’s evil legacy, which means you are failing to deliver on your promises.

This is “like father like son”, no change for the Swazi people.  The king misled the nation and the world on the 21st of September 2018 when the new PM was elected.  The king appointed Mandvulo because he is former PM’s (Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini) son.  The king is still denying the nation its human rights and the new PM is following in his father’s foot-steps.

The situation is getting worse, in September 2019 the public sector workers, including teachers and nurses under the umbrella of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA), embarked on protests over salaries across the country.  Police responded in a heavy-handed manner, beating and injuring protesters. Earlier in June, police injured at least four workers protesting alleged corruption in government. These incidents occurred despite the new Police Service Act of 2018 that provides that “the police shall respect and protect human dignity and human rights,” and that “police officers are prohibited from inflicting or tolerating any act of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”

No respect of human rights, no freedom of speech, no freedom of assembly and association.  The PM is imposing more severe punishment for those who protest or demonstrate for their own human rights.  Intimidation and threats have never been a solution.

Under the new PM’s government, the health sector is deteriorating, no medication and the government is not resolving the ongoing shortage of medication and people are dying as they can’t even get basic medication including antibiotics.

It is not only medication and injections that are unavailable, in some big hospitals, sometimes there is no food for patients as the hospital kitchens have not received funds for ingredients.

One of the biggest referral hospitals in the country is facing the same problem - food shortages.  Health workers in the country say the government has prohibited them from disclosing the direness of the situation in the country.  They are threatened that should they disclose this information, they will lose their jobs.

 

References:

1. https://www.google.co.uk/search?source=hp&ei=gfx7XfjlCIaMlwTo9ICoAw&q=sibusiso+barnabas+dlamini&oq=sibusiso+barnab&gs_l=psy-ab.1.0.0l3j0i22i30l5j0i22i10i30j0i22i30.3286.10624..15060...0.0..0.192.1471.11j4......0....1..gws-wiz.......0i131j0i10.0hTlmfHlT10

2. https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019/country-chapters/swaziland

3. https://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2019/09/health-and-education-collapsing-in.html

King Mswati Ordered Police to Shoot Protesting SNAT Teachers and Arrested One

Swaziland (Eswatini) is stooping further down low in her political and social norms. How can a police officer, who by job description is supposed to protect the public, pull out a gun and point it at unarmed peaceful protesters???

In light of what happened so far as far as the peaceful protest where Mswati is ordering police to shoot unarmed and defenceless people its high time we looked at our methods and change tactic accordingly!!!! King Mswati is trying to silent dissenting teachers and any dissenting voices by ordering police to shoot peaceful and unarmed SNAT protestors. Today one SNAT activist Maxwell “Zond'iyinkundla” Musa Myeni was arrested by Mswatis CIDs.

Swazi Vigil UK are unreservedly condemning what the Mswati’s Swazi Police force are doing, police are there to protect citizens, not to attack and shoot them. We condemn in the strongest of terms what Mswati and his cohorts, brutal corrupt police force are doing. Such attacks on unarmed teachers should be reported to the international human rights court, it is a violation of basic human rights. People are scared now, and that fear is manifesting itself in the confrontation that took place on Friday outside the SNAT centre, that's why Maxwell Myeni ended up wrestling with the police commander. This has to stop. Police are there to protect. Swazi citizens have a right to protest peacefully. We say no to police brutality!!!!

SNAT members were protesting about the Mswati’s government’s failure to increase teachers’ wages by factoring the Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA). It is employees’ rights to be compensated with at least the cost of living, no one should have to have their wages reduced by not factoring inflation rates into salaries. It was a peaceful protest, so why did the Mswati regime shoot unarmed protesters??? This is immoral and evil, and we as Swaziland Vigil UK say this must stop, it is gross violation of human life.

Mswati stop your murderous acts and reprehensible behaviour, Swazis have rights to protest and assemble peacefully.

Swazi Vigil believes all humans should have the right to peaceful assembly, freedom to exercise their socio-political rights, they should have freedom of thought, freedom of a belief system of their choice, freedom to express political opinions and certainly freedom to challenge and call the government on the carpet for its actions or lack thereof.

We call upon the Mswati’s government to stop these atrocious attacks on its civilians and law-abiding nationals, professionals, expatriates, and any other resident of Swaziland. The police are under the prime minister’s office, so effectively this kind of violence lands back at the head of the perceived head of government. We say it is the perceived head of government because we all know that the Swaziland Government is a smoke screen and front end of king Mswati’s totalitarian power-hungry regime which will do anything to kill, torture, and quench any dissenting voices.

The killing and wounding of innocent citizens is very much inhumane. Every citizen of a country has a right to complain, be listened to and be heard. If people are silenced through the use of brutal force, how then can change and progress come. We need change in Swaziland, as a matter of urgency. Police brutality must come to an end. Problems must be addressed without killing the citizens who voice them out. Shedding innocent blood will never bring peace but only strife and misery, hatred and pain. The police must stop the killing, stop the brutality, stop destroying lives, and respect citizens of Swaziland. A country is a country because of its citizenry.

According to some of Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) eye witness members the story began on Friday morning when SNAT members who were holding a peaceful protest in Manzini as part of their Candlelight Vigil, when they were confronted by a few armed police officers. Reports by the Swazi Observer highlighted two main incidents that transpired as a result of the clash between a few police officers and the protesting teachers. One teacher (Willie Dlamini) was rushed to hospital after he incurred injuries in his arm from a police gunshot who used live ammunition on unarmed protesters, the report said. Swazi News headlined the story as shown in Photo 2 below.

Photo 1: (Courtesy: SNAT Vigil Coordinator) Shows Willie 'MaWillies' Dlamini bleeding from a police gunshot wound in his arm on Friday morning 24th August 2018.

Photo 2: Swazi News newspaper headline of Willie Dlamini's story.

Police fired live rounds to unarmed teachers… where are our human rights to life as eMaSwati? The idea that protests are meant for police to disperse and squash, where does that come from? Protests are meant to convey a message to the relevant stakeholders in any environment, how come that Swaziland Police think they should intervene and disperse people who gather to voice their discontent with government… unless of course the government is behind the attack on unarmed professionals.

This is a cry-out for help, where are we going to turn to for redemption if peaceful protests are met with such excessive brutal force and violence, if teachers voicing their discontent with the government wage handouts is treated like an act of war against an oppressive government?

The other incident reported by the Observer involved Maxwell Myeni who strangely man-handled Manzini Station Commander - Raphael Maseko - to the ground, Maseko had his pistol drawn-out all this time but did not pull the trigger according to witnesses. This may have earned Maseko some accolades, but the bigger question is why was he pointing a gun at an unarmed civilian?? Maseko’s duty as a police officer is to protect the very public he threatened with a gun, that is no honourable thing. Maseko should be charged with wielding a gun in public to peaceful protesters who did not come after him, but instead he provoked them with his firearm.

Photo: 3 (Courtesy: Swazi Observer) Manzini Police Station Commander - Raphael Maseko - floored by Maxwell Myeni and vice-versa during the clash between SNAT members and the police on Friday 24th August 2018.

Such police disregard for human life and dignity has spiralled out of control, and the threat police are posing to the public is beyond belief. Police should ensure public safety (to sound like a broken record) not to fight with them nor to squash their peaceful gatherings. This is police abuse of power, the power that was vested to them to keep us the ordinary eMaSwati safe, not to kill, nor hurt nor threaten us or any other human being within the borders of Swaziland.

The latest reports from SNAT say Maxwell “Zond'iyinkundla” Musa Myeni has since been arrested by the police CIDs. We say to SNAT leadership, we stand with you in this situation whilst trying to mount a legal battle on behalf of Maxwell, he’s a true freedom fighter and a true comrade to the struggle for freedom in Swaziland.

Again this is a gross violation of human rights and the Mswati regime should stop all such reprehensible activities at once!!!!

Viva Swazi Vigil… we will continue the struggle until Swaziland is free of this oppressive regime run by draconian Mswati.

 

Issued by: Swaziland Vigil UK Office.