MAFUTSENI: Elliot Mkhatjwa, the Chairman of the Swaziland Democratic Party(SWADEPA) has called for nation-wide protests in solidarity with the women vendors of Mafutseni who were evicted by King Mswati to give way for a project facilitated by Princess Sibahle’s Arab husband.
Speaking to this Swaziland News on Tuesday, Mkhatjwa, a resident of Mafutseni said the decision by the King amounts to killing the women vendors who were earning a living by selling their products along the road.
“I call upon the people of Mafutseni to stand-up and protest against this decision so that the person who issued the order can see that we are in solidarity with the people who are being evicted. As part of solidarity, let’s have protests in other areas as well against this decision, today it’s the people of Mafutseni and tomorrow it’s you” said the SWADEPA Chairman.
This publication reported on Sunday that King Mswati allegedly sent the Ludzidzini Royal Council to inform the residents who acquired the land through the Malindza Royal Kraal to vacate the area.
A separate order was allegedly issued through the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to evict the women vendors who earn a living by selling fruit and vegetables including traditional products along the road few kilometers away from the King Mswati international Airport.
Duncan Mthembu, a resident of the area who acquired a piece of land through the Malindza royal kraal and subsequently confronted by the Mafutseni authorities confirmed that Chief Mdlaka Gamedze arrived with the King’s Ludzidzini Council to inform them to vacate the land.
“We were told that the land belongs to the King and that we must vacate the area to give way for a Princess‘ project.We were actually surprised when Prince Masitsela who is part of the Council that came here to evict us told the Nation that as royalty, they were appointed by God to rule this country, considering the way the they are treating us, where do we go from here now?” said the resident who built a house worth millions after legally acquiring the land through the kukhonta custom.
It has been disclosed that shortly after the Ludzidzini Council visited the area, royalty sent AGPF, a company owned by one Wayne Allen that provides fencing services to fence the area while the residents were still residing within their homes.
Reached for comments by this Swaziland News Chief Mdlaka Gamedze, the Chairman of the Ludzidzini Council first asked this journalist what did the residents say before responding.
“What did the residents told you Dlamini? ” he asked, to which this journalist responded that the residents were complaining that they were being evicted after acquiring the land through the Malindza Royal Kraal.
“May I not comment for now Dlamini, the residents must tell you the truth what really happened(asebayikhulume kahle)”,said the Ludzidzini Council Chairman.
But evidence in our possession in form of pictures substantiates that indeed, royalty ordered the residents to vacate the area and subsequently fenced the land with the intention to deprive them access to their homes.
Sibusiso Nhlabatsi, a human rights lawyer when speaking to this publication in an earlier interview said the issue of land was affecting most citizens around the country adding that urgent action must be taken.
“In most cases, you find that the citizens went through all the necessary process of kukhonta in terms of the Swazi Law and Custom to acquire the land but they are subsequently evicted without any compensation in complete violation of the Constitution” said the human rights lawyer.
Traditionalist Elliot Mkhatjwa calls for protests against Mafutseni evictions