- The Prime Minister assured Emaswati that the security forces will stand up against the terrorists.
- PUDEMO’s Mlungisi Makhanya urged members of the so-called underground forces to intensify their attacks against the security forces of Eswatini
Mbabane-For anybody who had any doubts that there is a low-level civil war that is being engaged in Eswatini then the time to dispel those doubts has arrived following the public declaration of war by both the Prime Minister of the government of Eswatini, Cleopas Dlamini and the President of the Peoples United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) Mlungisi Makhanya against each other.
The first to throw a broadside was the Prime Minister at a press conference on Monday 27th June following a weekend in which two police officers were assassinated by unknown gunmen in Manzini and Matsapha. Zinhle Mavuso was shot at dawn on the Saturday and Alpheous Sibusiso Matsebula gunned down a day later while they were patrolling their assigned precincts.
During the media briefing, the Premier lashed out at what he termed as terrorists, describing the killing of the police officers as a declaration of war against the state. Prime Minister, Dlamini categorically stated in vernacular that “njengoba sebayiphakile, natsi sitayiphaka kuhlanganwe etulu.”
The Prime Minister assured Emaswati that the security forces will stand up against the terrorists. He described the insurgents as witches who he will not even converse with. “Government will do everything to protect the lives of Emaswati and to restore peace and order to the country. The full force of the law will be brought to fight against the terrorists “he said.
Dlamini condemned not only the killing of the police officers but also the sporadic arson attacks on public and private property. The arson attacks have had a devastating effect on the economy and livelihoods of the people of Eswatini resulting in millions lost by the business fraternity.
In the previous week, the Inyatsi Construction Company reported a loss of up to E 65 million resulting from damage to property suffered at the hands of the arsonists. They announced that they were suspending operations for one week and informed the public that the company will lose up to E 50 million as a result of the work suspension. A reward of E 500 thousand was also promised to anybody with information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.
The Prime Minister also disclosed that government was aware that the terrorists are being sponsored by foreign entities including governments. He mentioned that “it is clear that these sponsors of terrorism do not have the interests of Emaswati at heart, instead their interest is to perpetuate violence and insecurity in the country.”
According to the Premier “the police will now be armed whenever they are called out to incidents and will continue to provide security to ensure that the citizens can carry out their livelihoods in peace.”
“The government commits to every citizen that it is deploying all its assets internally as well as regionally to hunt down the terrorists and bring them to book, while exposing their enablers. There can be no justification for such attacks especially when there are channels available for reconciling differences in Eswatini” emphasised the Dlamini.
On the evening of June 29 2022, the President of the People United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) Mlungisi Makhanya also appeared in a video on the Facebook platform. He urged members of the so-called underground forces to intensify their attacks against the security forces of Eswatini.
Makhanya said there is no turning back because many lives have been lost because of the murderous regime. The time has come for all Emaswati to defend themselves. He urged Emaswati to employ every means necessary and make sure that no Liswati losses their lives unnecessarily.
“Whenever the King, the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister or government spokesperson speaks their tone is contemptuous, angry, disrespectful and it is war. We are dealing with people who are agitating for war. He says in agreement with the declaration by the Commander in Chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Julius Malema, King Mswati will never know peace as long as there is no democracy in Eswatini, as long as the MPs are languishing in jail, as long as PUDEMO leaders are in exile. There is no infrastructure that is guaranteed safety” stated Makhanya in the video.
Mlungisi Makhanya says because they have waited too long, PUDEMO must now impose the conditions for dialogue. The state must understand that the dialogue is in their best interest and the state is not doing the people a favour by engaging in a dialogue.
Makhanya believes that there is no rule of law in Eswatini and that there is no independent judiciary. This can be exemplified in the ongoing terrorist trial of the two incarcerated MP’s where even after proceedings have been completed, the state then seeks to amend the charges.
He also alluded to the two suspects who have recently been arrested in connection with the arson attacks throughout the country including the damage to the property of the Inyatsi construction company worth millions of Emalangeni who have been illegally kept in custody for more than 48 hours without appearing before a magistrate.” Upon their appearance in court, five days after their arrest the magistrate did not question their illegal jail custody but continued to increase their remand days where they will be brutally interrogated by the security forces. This shows that the judicial system is not objective and independent” he lamented.
Makhanya says because the regime is not committed to any peaceful resolution his constituents must intensify their struggle and spare no energy or effort in ensuring that their activities culminate in mass rolling action that is going to render the country ungovernable.
He called for a collective mass action from all trade unions and for no institute of higher learning to re-open until all their allowances have been paid in full. He was critical of the office of the Deputy Prime Minister that has not released grants to the elderly despite numerous promises.
The PUDEMO leader gave an instruction to the underground forces to be vigilant and to make sure that they remain undetected. “They must make sure that they hit the enemy where it matters most and when they hit it, they must hit very hard. There will be fresh commands and we will be expanding the list of our targets.”