MBABANE: Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Harris Madze Bulunga said the protests and delivery of petitions were banned after government realized that they were driven by banned political parties.
This is contained in an electronic evidence dated 24th June 2021 and that was a few hours after King Mswati through the then Acting Prime Minister Senator Themba Masuku issued a decree banning the delivery of petitions.
“It’s a difficult situation because the delivery is now controlled by the political parties, yet they are not recognized by law” ,said the Minister in the electronic evidence, he was speaking to a member of State security agency who happened to be our undercover investigator.
But it appeared that the electronic evidence in possession of this Swaziland News and implicating the Minister supports the sentiments of the then Acting Prime Minister Senator Themba Masuku who disclosed during a press conference in Mbabane on the same day that the delivery of petitions was banned because it was hijacked by elements seeking to influence regime change.
“In light of the above, Government has reached the decision to stop with immediate effect the delivery of petitions to Tinkhundla Centres” ,said the Acting Prime Minister.
An effort was made to reach Harris Madze Bulunga, the Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs, however, his phone rang unanswered. A questionnaire was then sent to the Minister, however, he had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
Reached for comments, Colani Maseko, the President of the Swaziland National Union of Students(SNUS) said it was very disturbing that a Minister responsible for youth affairs could support the banning of petitions merely because as government, they believed the protests were influenced by political parties.
“It is actually the youth who forms a majority of members of the political parties and to hear a youth Minister speaking like that is very disturbing. But we are not surprised, Madze is the worse thing and a biggest mistake to have ever happened to the people of Msunduza. This should be a lesson to all of us, we must never elect populists, Madze was just Sihlangu coach and knew nothing about politics”, said the Students Union President.
King Mswati allegedly issued a decree on the 24th June 2021 and banned all protests, he subsequently unleashed soldiers to shot and kill dozens of civilians who were demanding democratic reforms.
Youth Affairs Minister Harris Bulunga.