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PEOPLE AND POWER: When police violence against people’s leaders and journalists comes with a prize.

Wednesday, 9th March, 2022

Police violence against the powerless was beginning to be the new normal in this country, we reported widely about assault, torture and killing of civilians but the perpetrators were never prosecuted by the State.

It is only now where we see police confirming that they are fearing for their lives and they always avoid cameras when assaulting protestors during protests because they know something might happen to them at a personal level.

Well, I am one of those who were tortured and almost died for writing critical articles about King Mswati.

After the torture, the police told me nothing would be done to them adding that they have been doing this for years with impunity.

Perhaps, let me make it clear that the police sourced absolute power from Mswati, that’s why they have been torturing, shooting and killing civilians without fear of being punished or held accountable for their actions.

But as the centre of power slowly shifts back to the people, some police officers are fearing for their lives because they know Mswati can’t help  once the people start dealing with them.

As a journalist with a huge following, I don’t think the State expects me to speak a romantic language when hunted by armed police and soldiers who want to kill me as confirmed by the State through an audio by the then Army Commander Jeffery Shabalala.

Being followed by thousands of Swazis comes with POWER and some of us have been avoiding to use that power and tell the people what to do amid persecution by the police.

Deputy National Commissioner Sam Mthembu died without facing the law, despite a complaint that I filed with the Human Rights Commission complaining about the torture I went through at the hands of over twenty(20) police officers.

The police and soldiers subsequently killed dozens of civilians during the political unrest and again, nothing happened to the killers.

We don’t want to live in a country where the police will torture us and instill fear, if they created this environment, the people must make sure the police also live in fear.

Mswati was once powerful in this country while commanding a huge following but now that the power has shifted, people no longer want him as a Head of State. 

It should be understood that the people already have their own political leaders in the pro-democracy movement who they follow and the more the police persecutes those leaders, chaos and or anarchy will continue to dominate this country. 

As mentioned, having a huge following comes with power, you can tell the people  what to do and they can act as per your command.

Therefore, if the police claim to be acting on orders not the law when killing and torturing people, then they must prepare to live in fear because the people are determined to be freed from Mswati’s dictatorship rule.

We, as leaders and journalists with a huge following, we have tried a countless times to protect the lives of the police by running away from them, but other officers opted to cross the border to hunt us knowing that we will do nothing except to post on social media.

Then the question is, what if we get tired of running and decide to speak the language they understand, will they blame us for perpetrating violence?

Running away from a killer is enough and if that killer decides to hunt you, he must not expect a romance, the police are the perpetrators of violence and they must stop it.

In conclusion, let me emphasize that hunting the people’s leaders and killing citizens will always come with a heavy price for cruel police officers, we will continue exposing these killers and where necessary will tell the people what to do to them.

We have tried to maintain peace by running away, however, the police seem convinced that we will never do anything to them, what if their conclusion is wrong?

We are being followed by different people, some are prepared to protect us in many ways, so any police officer who will aspire to become a hero by threatening our lives and that of the people must be ready to suffer the consequences while we expose his/her conduct.

Police officers have a legal obligation to maintain peace and stability in this country not to perpetrate violence and then expect to live in peace. 

PEOPLE AND POWER: When police violence against people’s leaders and journalists comes with a prize.
Eswatini police officers during a protest.