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Rural Women Assembly Coordinator speaks to the BBC about women rights violation during eSwatini political unrest.

Thursday, 23rd December, 2021

MBABANE:Zakithi Sibandze, the Coordinator of the Swaziland Rural Women Assembly (SRWA) has narrated to the BBC News Africa how eSwatini police abused women in their cells during the recent political unrest.

Speaking to the British Broadcasting Corporation(BBC)News Africa on Monday, the Rural Women Assembly Coordinator said a number of women lost their jobs during the unrest because they were arrested on baseless accusations of looting. 

She said women were also denied their right to healthcare  facilities even  contacting their families. 

“There was a pregnant woman who said she was denied permission to call her family for three days,a number of women lost their babies as they were heavily assaulted by the state police.Women were forced to sleep with men in jail cells and those who were on their menstruation days were denied the right to clean themselves”, she said.

The Coordinator was also arrested by the state police after being accused of documenting a march which was organized by pro-democracy groups on the same day as Sibaya that was summoned by King Mswati in July, a few weeks after the 29th June Massacre.

She successfully documented the human rights abuses that women suffered at the hands of police during the political unrest and her findings have since been published by the BBC News Africa.

Thabile Mdluli, the Deputy Government Spokesperson had not responded at the time of compiling this report.

Eswatini is in the midst of a political unrest after King Mswati unleashed his forces to shoot and kill unarmed civilians who were protesting and demanding democratic reforms, leaving dozens dead and hundreds injured.


Rural Women Assembly Coordinator speaks to the BBC about women rights violation during eSwatini political unrest.
Soldiers deployed during the unrest