LOBAMBA: King Mswati allegedly imposed a fine of 10 cattle worth E100,000.00 to security Chiefs of the three armed forces for ‘unlawful’ parking at Mandvulo Hall, Lozitha Royal Palace.
An independent investigation conducted by this Swaziland News uncovered crucial evidence suggesting that on 23rd March 2021 at around 11am, Army Commander Lieutenant General Jeffrey Shabalala, Police National Commissioner William Dlamini and Correctional Services Commissioner General Phindile Dlamini went to Ludzidzini Palace to pay the fine, the cattle were accepted by Ludzidzini Governor Lusendvo Fakudze on behalf of His Majesty King Mswati.
Reached for comments by this Swaziland News, Lusendvo Fakudze, the Ludzidzini Royal Palace Governor confirmed receiving 10 cattle as a fine on behalf of the King, he said by paying the fine, the security Chiefs demonstrated that the offense was committed by mistake.
“Tikhona mnfwanami tinkhomo batiletsile, bavuma licala, ngoba lelinye licala ulenta ungakacondzi(meaning: It’s true, they paid the cattle as an admission of guilty, demonstrating remorse that the offense was not committed intentionally)",said the Governor.
A member of the royal guard who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity said the security Chiefs paid the fine on behalf of junior officers who allowed individuals to park in a space reserved for royalty something that angered the King. The royal guard said the King normally communicates with their superiors wherever he wanted to impose a fine for any wrongdoing they committed, the security Chiefs are then expected to collect the money from the officers to buy the cattle to be paid as a fine.
“But this time, the security Chiefs did not demand contribution from us because most of the security officers are no longer happy with the conduct of the King to impose fines, we don’t know where they sourced the money to buy the cattle” ,said the royal guard.
Sibongile Mazibuko, the President of the Ngwane National Liberatory Congress(NNLC) said the fines consistently imposed by the King to members of the security forces forms part of royal looting adding that there was no way the Heads of Security could pay such a huge fine from their pockets.
"It is clear that the money to buy the cattle was sourced from public coffers, the huge security budget is sometimes used to pay such fines to the King as part of looting.There's no way they could have paid from their pockets because they were not charged in their personal capacity but as Heads of the security forces. There more Tinkhundla system of governance continues to be in power, the more the looting.No human being can have such power without being tempted to abuse it," said the NNLC President.
Reached for comments, Wandile Dludlu, the Secretary General of the People’s United Democratic Movement(PUDEMO) said members of the armed forces were very important and must be respected because they provided security to the Nation and the authorities. He condemned the King\'s tendency of bullying the royal guards by imposing heavy fines everytime he felt like doing so .
“Security officers offer a very important service to a country and particularly its authorities thus they must be respected and valued. We call upon all security forces to demand better working conditions through the formation of a security union and or worker's labor desk. Through these platforms they can bargain against royal abuse and harassment” said the PUDEMO Secretary General.
When questioned by this publication regarding the matter, Army Commander Jeffery Shabalala said he doesn't discuss security matters with anybody who doesn't belong to security, he advised this investigative journalist to seek a comment from those who gave him this information.
"I don't talk about national security matters with anybody who doesn't belong to security, ask those who told you about it" said the Army Commander when responding to our questions.
A questionnaire was sent to Police National Commissioner William Dlamini and Correctional Services Commissioner General Phindile Dlamini, however, both of them had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
Evidence in our possession further suggests that the three security Chiefs left Ludzidzini Palace at around 2pm on the 23rd March 2021 after delivering the cattle to the King through the Governor.