Mbabane: Members of the public are forbidden from entering the premises of any Inkhundla after dark. The Minister of Tinkhundla Affairs and Development, David “Cruiser” Ngcamphalala says the government has taken this stance as a matter of instituting security for the Inkhundla structures.
Ngcamphalala was speaking at the Sithobelweni Inkhundla during an outreach tour of Tinkhundla centres that were subjected to arson attacks since the political uprisings in June. He expressed his personal displeasure at the incidents of arson and mentioned that he shared this sentiment with King Mswati who had decided to establish the S500 Million Reconstruction Fund in order to restore the damaged infrastructure.
The Minister said “I take a dim view towards all violent conduct especially that directed towards Tinkhundla centres. The government will therefore take drastic measures to ensure that these centres are protected and as such, members of the public have been warned.”
He asked community members at Sithobelweni to express their views regarding what they thought is the cause of these attacks and how the matter can be solved. Ngcamphalala recommended that the community members should form a committee that will look at how best to resolve the matter. “The infrastructure that is being burnt belongs to Emaswati and this includes future generations. To continue along this trend is tantamount to shooting oneself in the foot.
A total of sixteen Tinkhundla centres have either been burnt or vandalized countrywide since the start of the June political uprisings. Nine of the affected centres have been in the Shiselweni area.
The arson attacks are alleged to have been incited by the two incarcerated legislators, Hosea MP, Mduduzi “Bacede” Mabuza, and Ngwempisi MP, Mthandeni Dube along with Siphofaneni MP Mduduzi “Magawugawu” Simelane. The three are accused of encouraging the people of Eswatini to revolt against the constitutionally established Government of Eswatini.
The parliamentarians are said to have held meetings in various places where they influenced members of the public to revolt against the government. Subsequent to these meetings, riots engulfed the whole of Eswatini.
In the course of these riots, the Tinkhundla’s of Hosea, Dvokodvweni, Ngudzeni, Methula, Somtongo, Sandleni and Sithobelweni in the Shiselweni district were torched. Two others at Maseyisini and Matsanjeni were also vandalized. In the Hhohho district, the Timpisini, Ndzingeni, and Mayiwane Tinkhundla centres were torched while the Ngwempisi, Kukhanyeni, and Ntontozi centres in the Manzini district were also violated. Apart from the Tinkhundla centres, various properties were destroyed and looted. These include Buy Cash Warehouses countrywide, three OK Supermarkets in Matsapha, Eswatini Breweries, Nhlangano Health Centre, Mbabane Embangweni Complex, Lewis Furniture Stores, and the Automated Teller Machines (ATM) of all the major financial institutions.