Lobamba – Elected Nkomiyahlaba Member of Parliament (MP) Thulani Dlamini twin brother Bonginkosi Goninsika Dlamini was one of the police alleged killed by members of the Solidarity Forces.
Following the political unrest experienced by the country in June 2021, members of the security forces were randomly brutally murdered by this group. In October 2022, online publication Swaziland News revealed two faces of the members of the Solidarity Forces in a live video streamed on Facebook page.
The newspaper attributed a number of killings perpetrated, mostly, against members of national security forces. Former members of His Majesty Correctional Services Wandile Mphumelelo Gina and Bheka Brian Magagula were later revealed by the publication as members of the Solidarity Forces.
Magagula of Nkambeni, an officer based at Pigg’s Peak Correctional Centre, disappeared with a service riffle together with his friend, Phakamani Gravel Magagula of Dvokolwako, an officer at the same station. They both disappeared on the same day in August 29, 2022.
Two police officers, one soldier and one warder were killed between his disappearance in August 2022.
An emotional Dlamini said he has not recovered from his brother’s death.
“He was my twin brother and both of us did the same job (police officers). We did most things together and it hurts even today. We mourn all those who passed away during that sad period in the country. My brother’s oldest child was nine years and the last one less than six months,” Dlamini said in an interview.
Subsequently, in June this year the man purported to be the commander of the Solidarity Forces Thabo Kunene and an accomplice were arrested by Eswatini police. As reported, the pair was arrested along the borderline with South Africa.
Their arrest was subsequent to a video footage wherein the duo was accused of trying to steal firearms. The pair was said to have committed the criminal act in South Africa at one of the homesteads of a businessman and traditional healer, known as Dr Mkhulu.
The Solidarity Forces has, in the past year, been known to have participated in the murder of over 10 people, who included a chief and State security personnel. They were also said to have disclosed their presence whenever setting structures of key people alight.
In visual footages which circulated on social media, Kunene, who claimed to be the leader of the solidarity forces, said his entity had killed 14 people in total.
He said, among them, four were law enforcers. This was when he was allegedly being interrogated by the traditional healer and his security personnel. Kunene and his accomplice are currently incarcerated and attending court.
His Majesty Correctional Services officer Bheki Mike Mtsetfwa was kidnapped, beaten, and robbed of a service rifle, shot in the head, dumped in a forest and later died while undergoing treatment in hospital in one of the reported brutal killings.
Despite the sad set back of his brother passing, Dlamini is committed to help develop Nkomiyahlaba, on of the new constituencies that were established by the Elections and Boundaries Commission to take the number of Tinkhundla Centres in the country to 59.
“The biggest challenge for Nkomiyahlaba is the bad state of its roads. The constituency is one of the very few with hardly accessible roads and the situation becomes even worse in the rainy season. We walk over 10km on foot to get home. For development, good roads are needed.
Dlamini amassed 1 861 votes in the recent national elections to beat well known football administrator Dr Comfort Shongwe for a seat in the 12th Parliament. Shongwe got 1 358 votes while Fana Madzinane had 1 325 in third position and Welcome Shongwe had 648.
“Our constituency is in the highveld but we have water challenges. Government through Micro Projects is working on something in that regard. We need to equip the youth on agriculture. Government must not focus on big projects that do not help the youth and we will push that in Parliament. The focus will be giving the youth access agricultural projects like piggery and broilers businesses,” Dlamini added.