MBABANE:Angry Cannabis farmers are allegedly plotting to burn multi-billion forests and sugarcane fields as revenge for the burning of dagga fields and seizing of their properties by the State.
This comes after media reports suggesting that a powerful political syndicate was using the Prevention of Organized Crime Act (POCA) to seize cash within the various banks and private properties owned by the powerless dagga farmers in the rural areas.
Insiders within the dagga farming industry told this Swaziland News that some of these angry farmers want to burn forests owned by Finance Minister Neal Rijikernberg and his business partner King Mswati and the various sugarcane fields while others want to challenge the matter in court.
It has been established that the anger and frustration among the dagga farmers escalated after a report by the Times of Eswatini suggesting that about E1million cash and assets belonging to a farmer Bongani Mbuso ‘Highlander’ Dlamini were seized by the State.
Saladin Magagula, the Chairman of the Eswatini Cannabis Association (ECA) only confirmed receiving complaints from the farmers, however, he said as an association, they can only challenge the matter in court on behalf of their members.
“I haven’t seen the newspaper yet, let me get it and then respond to some of your questions later. But we encourage farmers to join and subscribe to the organization so we can represent them in court, we want to handle this legally” said the Cannabis Association Chairman.
At the time of compiling this report, this publication gathered that efforts were being made by the Cannabis Association Executive members to seek legal services from top human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko.
Reached for comments, lawyer Thulani Maseko confirmed the matter saying he was contacted by the Cannabis Association for legal services.
“It’s true, they contacted me for legal services, we have arranged to meet next week for consultation and possible instructions” said the top lawyer.
But insiders within the dagga industry told this publication that as government was continuing with burning their dagga fields, then they must retaliate with burning even sugarcane and forests.
“Sugarcane and forestry is farming just like dagga farming, then why are they burning our product while their businesses continue to strive without any disturbance.?” said the insider.
But Phila Dlamini, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was quoted by the media saying the grabbing of properties will intensify and catch-up even with those in the rural areas, he said this was in accordance with the law.
The Times reported on Friday that a sum of a sum of E1 052 120.04 was discovered in various bank accounts belonging to a dagga farmer Bongani Dlamini.
An order warranting government to preserve the properties belonging to Bongani Mbuso ‘Highlander’ Dlamini of KaNcesi in northern Hhohho was issued by Judge Nkosinathi Maseko Thursday.
“The items which were taken from Dlamini included cash amounting to E256 639.45, cash in various bank accounts totalling E1 052 120.04, permanent shares belonging to Dlamini amounting to E229 208.76 held at the Swaziland Building Society, immovable property situated in Pigg’s Peak, Malanda, white BMW 320i, black BMW registered Sbu, Toyota Quantum and various household items. Dlamini’s household items, which are now under the custodianship of government, include brown sofas (three piece), three piece brown wall unit, black LG radio system, black Hisense TV set, brown coffee table, four cream white bedroom suites, black and grey Panasonic TV set, treadmill, LG microwave, two beds and white deep freezer” the Times reported.