• Breaking News – Eswatini Sugar Association generated over R7billion revenue despite global challenges,Chief Executive Officer(CEO) Banele Nyamane says $98million circulating within the economy.
Swaziland News Logo

OPINION:Where is the salary review for police,soldiers and Correctional Officers?;cop’s decision to steal meat at the Palace should be an eye opener.

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2024

I once had an conversation with Dumsani Masilela,the former Commissioner General of the Eswatini Revenue Service(ERS) some few months ago, a conversation that capacitated my thinking to understand the danger of having a large population that lives in poverty with a few living an extravagant lifestyle.

In fact,I was opening-up(kutihhamula) to Masilela as person I know, after receiving information that unknown people had stolen my water pipes and other items in my home, detectives at Lobamba Police Station later assisted me to recover some of the items including my grass cutting machine.

Masilela said; “Ncesi yeMlangeni but we will have a problem to fight crime in our country because sebanengi labantfu labahluphekako,futsi akubaphatsi kahle kubona labanye badla kahle phambikwabo.Once bantfu labahluphekako baba-banyenti eveni, babese bafuna kumuka laba labanjingile noma labadla ncono, tintfo tabo in order to survive”.

This statement capacitated me to understand the roots of crime,Masilela is one person I respect when it comes to objective analysis of issues every-time when I speak to him,I learn.

Of course, crime cannot be entirely attributed to poverty, even those who earn decent salaries steal public funds but, for a police officer to steal meat, that is a sign of desperation and hunger.

Personally,I hate crime and support lawful means to eradicate crime like arresting criminals.

But on on Wednesday,the Times of eSwatini reported that a police officer has been arrested for stealing meat at the Lozitha Palace, to be precisely, the meat was stolen from the King.

After reading the story, Masilela’s words came back to my mind.

We need to be objective when analyzing this issue of an officer of the law who stands accused of stealing meat from the King, what is the cause?

As mentioned, I am not condoning theft, I am also a victim but at least Lobamba Police did not perceive me politically, they did their job and recovered my stolen goods, I’m grateful for what they did.

Now, I am doing my job as a journalist, questioning why this Government is forcing police officers, soldiers and Correctional Officers into poverty such that, an officer of the law opted to steal meat.

It should be noted that, this petty crime of stealing meat at the Palace is a sign of desperation and frustration and,we must look at it in context.

Security officers were promised a salary review under Phase II but, that did not happen, these are citizens with families to feed and the Government has been promising to address their welfare without practical action.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with police officers,I have a problem with hitmen disguised as police officers like Clement Sihlongonyane and others but then, we must understand that in every profession, fools who are always ready to be used for dirty work will always be there.

We cannot therefore, refrain from demanding answers about the delayed salary review because of a few hitmen, Government must review the salaries of police officers as per the Phase II commitment made to officers of the law and other security officers.

I speak to security officers almost on a daily basis because a majority of my sources are within the security forces and therefore, I fully understand the pain they are going through.

Of course, others will say, police must stand-up and fight, it’s not easy for them to do that without knowing the future of the country politically, security officers were trained to be loyal and take orders and you must work hard to convince them otherwise.

Democracy or no democracy, it’s wrong and dangerous to have a large population, even employed civil servants living in poverty.

King Mswati is very lucky that his security officers decided to steal meat at his Palace, as the circumstances force them deeper into poverty, one day these security officers will have no alternative but to ‘eat’ the King.

Security officers are very important in any country,they maintain peace, law and order but, in our country they are intentionally made to be poor so that they can implement unlawful orders including killing civilians.

I am mentioning this based on experience, after being tortured by the State police, one police said, of course, without noticing that I was hearing him “ye-Sir ngive batsi nasicedza siyokosa”.

I then understood that these police officers are actually oppressed themselves, they can even implement an unlawful order to kill a citizen just because thereafter, batohamba bayokosa.

We cannot run a country like that, the dignity of security officers must be restored, police must remain officers of the law and receive a decent salary for their services.

OPINION:Where is the salary review for police,soldiers and Correctional Officers?;cop’s decision to steal meat at the Palace should be an eye opener.
King Mswati.