Mbabane – In fear of unknown and ensuring the safety of EmaSwati, the army personnel was deployed in towns across the country.
This was confirmed by Government Spokesperson Alpheus Nxumalo when sought for comment on the noticeable heavy presence of both the army personnel and the police, particularly in Mbabane.
On a normal day, the capital city is busy with people doing their business in town but Mbabane is filled with the heavy presence of army personnel and police officers with less people than usual.
Most of the armed forces personnel were concentrated at the Coronation Park just outside of the Central Business District (CBD) opposite the Eswatini Broadcasting and Information Services where members of the Multistakeholder Forum usually assemble.
However, since dawn, nothing out of the ordinary was observed as it was anticipated that members of the MSF would assemble to commemorate the death of emaSwati during the political unrest that began on the same day last year.
Nxumalo said the army was there to ensure that every Liswati was safe as there were threats in social media and other platforms made by progressives to cause anarchy in commemoration of those that lost their lives and were injured during the political unrest on the same day last year.
“The army personnel were deployed to ensure safety of emaSwati but I’m not privy to their operational mandate as it was designed by the army itself. People were threatened hence the deployment,” he said.
Nxumalo further mentioned that it was an achievement for government that at the time of compiling this report, no injury to people or property was reported despite the threats that were made coming to this day.
When asked about the glaring absence of workers in government departments despite that civil servants were ordered to report to work despite the threats, Nxumalo responded by saying, “Reasonably so, one would not expect people to report to work when there is a hanging threat on their lives. It was their subconscious decision to say there is a threat, lets watch and see what happens before we report for duty,” he said.
People in town were in a noticeable anticipation mode, reminiscing about this day last year while some shops were locked and operations suspended.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the MSF and Human Rights Lawyer Thulani Maseko was quoted by one of the publications saying that they marked this day a holiday and that the current regime should surrender power to the people.