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Swazi observer journalist shot with teargas canister at close range.

Saturday, 26th June, 2021

LUGONGOLWENI: Ugly scenes of  police  brutality  were witnessed here at Lugongolweni Inkhundla , outside Siteki where an Eswatini Observer Journalist was shot with a teargas canister at close range.

Wonder Dlamini, an Eswatini Observer Journalist was covering a protest march for democratic reforms whereby residents of Lugongolweni were on their way to deliver a petition to their  Member of Parliament (MP)  Thethi Magongo.The  police then fired teargas canisters at the marchers and Dlamini was shot at close range, sustaining injuries to his arm.

Speaking to this Swaziland News, the Eswatini Observer scribe confirmed the matter adding that he was treated and discharged from hospital. 

"Yes it happened while I was covering the march at Lugongolweni.  I was shot on the arm with a teargas canister at close range.I was treated and discharged , the Doctor said it was a flesh injury but I should check in on Monday again just to make sure there is no serious damage\", said the Observer Journalist. 

Shepherd Dlamini, a leader of the Lugongolweni youth said the canister was meant for him but it unfortunately hit the Journalist.

"I saw a police officer aiming towards my direction and I ducked for cover, the canister strayed and Wonder blocked it with his arms as it was heading straight to his face", he said.

Swaziland News editor Zweli Martin Dlamini condemned the conduct of the police who shot the Swazi Observer journalist in his line of duty adding that this undermines access to information.

"What the police did is very wrong, they are lucky that the journalist did not sustain serious injuries it could have been a serious case for the country internationally. Journalists must be allowed to do their work without fear or intimidation" said the editor.

Questions were sent to Superintendent Phindile Vilakati, the Police Spokesperson, however, she had not responded at the time of compiling this report.

Eswatini, a tiny Kingdom situated in Southern Africa and ruled by King Mswati as an absolute Monarch is facing growing calls for democratic reforms, citizens across the country's Tinkhundla centres are petitioning their Members of Parliament demanding democratic reforms. 

Swazi observer journalist shot with teargas canister at close range.
Swazi Observer journalist Wonder Dlamini shot by police by a teargas canister