One of the fundamental roles and functions of the law is to promote peace and stability but if manipulated, it promotes oppression while protecting the political interests of those in power.
It is of paramount importance to state that MP Mduduzi ‘Magawugawu’ Simelane is not a fugitive of justice but a victim of injustice on the grounds that the law was manipulated to silence the voices of those calling for democratic reforms. Considering the fact that under the current political system, the judicial system remains accountable to the Constitution on paper but practically controlled by King Mswati, it is absurd or vague to label a victim of political injustice as a fugitive of justice in a country where justice does not even exist but a word from one man automatically becomes the law.
Furthermore and in light of the aforementioned, given the fact that the judiciary was long captured and the subsequent limitations of the justice system in dealing with such politically motivated cases independently, human rights defenders and those calling for democratic reforms are arrested and persecuted as part of a political agenda not to enforce the law in the public interest.
Perhaps, it is important to state that in a democratic country, where the Judiciary is independent, handing yourself over to the police automatically works to your advantage when applying for bail but here the ‘Chief Justice’ is King Mswati who issued an order to arrest these MPs and he will release the two who have been incarcerated at his own discretion.
Now, unlike Mswati’s security forces who are armed with guns, MP ‘Magawugawu’ is armed with the truth and the greatest fear of the King is to see the MP addressing the Nation hence the decision to try and keep him behind bars and falsely brand him as a terrorist while his real terrorists being the soldiers and the police terrorize the citizens with impunity.
The regime understands that once you are arrested, it will frustrate your attempts for bail while using the State owned media to disseminate false information just to tarnish your reputation. This is a well-oiled political machinery, however, it is fast losing political legitimacy in the eyes of the people.
It is important to state that at this crucial time of the struggle for democracy, Swazis need leaders like Magawugawu to intensify the calls for democratic reforms and lobby the international community to impose sanctions against Mswati and his Government.
Not all political leaders should allow themselves to be arrested, others must push the struggle for democracy in exile and intensify the calls for freedom including the the release of those who have been arrested.
As a country, we shouldn’t make any mistake to recognize eSwatini’s justice system as legitimate because some of these Judges and Magistrates take orders from Mswati, as a result, when you apply for bail it means you are at the mercy of the very same King you are challenging because the final decision to release you rests with him.
It should be noted that this system of Governance is very strategic, such bail applications might be allocated to Judges like Mummcy Dlamini who might rule in the favour of the accused and thereafter, the prosecutors will quickly appeal just to make sure the MPs are frustrated and kept behind bars.
Allocating the matter to a Judge who might temporarily release them on bail is done to fool the international community that the courts are independent when the ultimate plan is to appeal consistently and frustrate them through a series of postponements.
Under the current political system with judiciary captured, you are can’t even rely on precedent to strengthen your case because some court decisions are disguised orders issued by King Mswati.
After all, I am confidently implicating King Mswati because I have crucial evidence that he is the one who ordered the arrest of these MPs, in fact he wants them dead and we reported widely about this.
We cannot therefore label an MP who faces political persecution from a dictator as a fugitive of justice when we have evidence that his life is now in danger merely for representing the people who elected him.
MP ‘Magawugawu’ is now in a better position to lobby the international community to impose sanctions against Mswati and isolate this oppressive regime.
Swazis are a few steps away from attaining democracy but it should be noted that any dictatorship regime becomes dangerous at its dying stage, Mswati will not give-up power without a fight.
As human rights organizations facilitate the process of holding the King accountable for killing dozens of civilians, it should be understood that he might adopt tactics to shift the blame to the pro-democracy MPs by citing court cases as if the citizens were killed in the midst of political chaos that was instigated by these Legislators.
MP ‘Magawugawu’ is now labelled a terrorist, the King’s Government knows that there’s no case here but that’s what they always do, fabricating criminal charges to tarnish people’s images and incarcerate them for political reasons. It is only in a dictatorship State like eSwatini where those who killed dozens of civilians are protected and an unarmed MP is labelled a terrorist for merely for being the voice of the people.
In conclusion, it is important to state that these warrants of arrests were signed by Magistrate Florence Msibi on the 8th July 2021, the regime delayed to arrest the MPs because we had reported on the 7th July 2021 that the King was plotting to arrest them.
This means this regime was very strategic, they rushed to the State owned radio to deny that there were warrants of arrest against the MPs while analyzing the situation and identifying targets.
For these reasons, it is important to have MP Magawugawu outside the territory of the regime working with international partners who are supporting the struggle for the liberation of Swazis.
The fact that we have evidence where Army Commander Jeffery Shabalala was speaking about a plot to assassinate these MPs means these arrests are just a cover, the ultimate intention is to silence anyone who challenges the King through brutality and killings.
Siphofaneni MP Mduduzi ‘Magawugawu’ Simelane