The dramatic shooting and killing of Mondli Mndzebele at Mkhitsini allegedly by Chief Mfukama and the subsequent burning of uMphakatsi by the residents suggests that the people always resort to the burning of properties in reaction to a threat directed to their lives.
Cabinet has been using looting and the burning of properties to justify the shooting and killing of innocent civilians and then the question is:Did the shooting manifested after or before the looting and burning of those properties?.
One would make an example about the shooting incident at Mkhitsini where the Chief was armed with a gun shooting residents, after killing his brother’s son Mondli Mndzebele, the angry residents burned his home and looted his properties in retaliation.
This means the looting and burning of those properties manifested after the Chief provoked the residents by undermining the right to life and the subsequent reaction resulted to the burning of his property.
But Cabinet, particularly Deputy Prime Minister(DPM) Senator Themba Masuku will tell anyone who cared to listen that the people are burning properties without mentioning the gross violation of the human right to life in this country where people are killed with impunity.
The way Cabinet justifies the shooting, it’s like the people just wake-up in the morning and decide to burn properties yet they are reacting to a regime that kills them merely for demanding democratic reforms.
It seems people like DPM Themba Masuku expect the masses to shout “Bayethe” while being killed and denied their internationally recognized right to elect a democratic government.
I am against violence but as an editor, I have an obligation to strike a balance with regards to the right to protection of property and the right to life.
Where someone’s life is in danger, the right to self-defense in justifiable in law and it’s unfortunate that unarmed civilians resort to the burning of properties in retaliation to the threat directed to them by this regime that doesn’t value human life.
How do you justify the decision by Chief Mfukama Mndzebele to shoot and kill an unarmed boy?
As a parent, Mfukama could have alternatively applied minimum punishment by using a stick to punish the boy not to shoot him.
But just because the culture of impunity where the powerful shoot and kill civilians in this country is becoming ‘fashionable’, pulling the trigger was the only option for Chief Mfukama.
It is worth mentioning that the citizens peacefully delivered petitions in various Tinkhundla centres around the country, demanding democratic reforms without looting and burning any property.
But King Mswati, through the then Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku responded by banning petitions and subsequently unleashed soldiers and the police to shoot and kill innocent civilians, that was the beginning of looting and burning of properties obviously in retaliation.
Then, for Mswati’s Cabinet to cite the looting and burning of properties to justify the shooting of civilians demonstrates a low thinking capacity on their part on the grounds that they would have to prove whether those alleged criminal activities by civilians manifested before or after the shooting.
Furthermore, Mswati’s Cabinet will have to prove if the looting and burning of properties comes with a death penalty in eSwatini and that there were no alternative law enforcement measures to arrest and prosecute those citizens instead of killing them.
In light of the aforementioned, it is my conclusion that this Cabinet is hiding behind a transparent political leaf regarding the killing of civilians.
The culture of killing people with impunity in this country does not only undermine human rights enshrined in the Constitution but a gross violation of international law particularly the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It is only in a dictatorship State like eSwatini where the right to own a property supersedes the right to life.
Chief Mfukwama Mndzebele.