Siteki-Thousands of protesters gathered at Mzilikazi and then marched towards the Siteki CBD in order to deliver a petition at the police station. The march was on behalf of the slain businessman Nhlanhla Kunene, who was fatally shot by police officers at a roadblock at Mpaka last Thursday.
It is alleged that Kunene failed to stop after police officers signaled for him to do so late at night. The police then opened fire and killed Kunene in the process. The deceased’s family, however, are not satisfied with the explanation that they received and have mobilized members of various formations to protest.
Members from Kunene’s family and those of the nearby Lugongolweni community along with scores from the different political formations then descended upon the police station. Along the way they were joined by pupils from Lubombo Central and Good Shepherd High Schools. They were also joined by public transport operators who were also engaged in their own protest action and this swelled the crowd numbers to multitudes. Their grievances then merged to include the demand for the release of the two incarcerated Members of Parliament, Hosea’s Mduduzi ”Bacede” Mabuza and Ngwempisi’s Mthandeni Dube.
The political formations that were involved included the Peoples United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), the Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS), Swaziland Liberation Peoples Movement (SLPM), EFF Swaziland, Ngwane National Liberatory Congress (NNLC), Swaziland Democratic Party (SWADEPA), and the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT).
The petition was handed over by Khetha Dlamini who was one of the organizers of the march and it was received by the Station Commander, Edwin Dlamini. A small contingent of police officers with shields and batons attempted to maintain law and order at this point.
Among the demands in the petition were that there be an independent inquest into the death of Kunene and that those responsible be held to account. They also demanded the provision of support to the families of those who died at the hands of security personnel and compensation for the survivors.