Mbabane: Lobamba Police Station Commander Mkhuzeni Kunene’s contract has been extended by two more years.
Independent News has reliably learnt that Kunene’s contract was elapsing on Friday, April 9, 2021 but due to the latest developments, he will be in his office until April 2023.
Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) National Commissioner William Tsintsibala Dlamini confirmed the news. Dlamini said they saw it fit to extend Kunene’s contract more especially as he was a hardworking and committed police officer.
Dlamini added that the reason they extended Kunene’s contract was mainly because as the force, they were still looking for a suitable candidate to take over from Kunene as Lobamba Station Commander.
The Lobamba Police Station is one of the most important police stations due its proximity to the Ludzidzini Royal Palace as it is situated about 200 metres from the Palace.
It has since become a norm that when a civil servant reaches the retirement age of 60 they are granted a contract extension by the Eswatini Government.
Saturday Observer reported on April 10, 2021 that Police Officers at Lobamba Station were at high spirits to celebrate their boss’ departure but to their surprise, the Station Commander declared that he was going nowhere as he had received a contract for another two years.
This led to them engaging in a protest against the extension of their boss’ contract. The officers who had been secretly anticipating for a retirement celebration for their superior could not control their displeasure and then the commotion started.
It was further reported that the protest emanates from the commander’s seemingly unpopularity with a number of his junior officers. The celebration meeting turned out to be a dramatic scene when some officers failed to contain their disappointment that the ‘bigger boss’ was going nowhere and will remain in charge for another two years. As such, it is alleged that the disgruntled officers downed their handcuffs, batons and guns and growing mumblings echoed their assembly arena.
Some of the police officers alleged that the boss went around ‘rubbing’ his contract paper in their faces, saying if anyone has a problem he or she must go and jump.
However, after sometime it dawned with the protesting officers that the there was nothing they could do because his contract renewal was in black and white, and they had to live with it.
Kunene became even more unpopular at the station when new flats were constructed at the station and other nearby police posts to accommodate officers under his jurisdiction. He was accused of favoritism by some officers, with some senior officers alleging that he side-lined them in favor of his blue-eyed rookies, while they continued to stay in condemned houses with leaking roofs damaging their furniture. Kunene could not hold his breath but blew his horn by telling the Saturday Observer that upon receiving the news about his contract renewal, he had been receiving calls from people commending me for the good job that he doing at the station.
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