NOKWANE: Queen Mother Ntombi Tfwala stretched her traditional powers on Wednesday when she forcefully appointed Mashikilisane Fakudze as Acting Commander in the midst of a power struggle within the army.
It has been disclosed that the scramble for the position of Army Commander started after this Swaziland News released an electronic evidence that subsequently resulted to the resignation of Jeffery Shabalala on Monday.
On or around the 10th October 2020, this publication published an investigative story that exposed how Mashikilisane Fakudze, a 3-star Army General allegedly held a secret meeting with Prince Lindani at Nkoyoyo where a plot to oust Army Commander Jeffery Shabalala was discussed at length.
This was after Fakudze and Brigadier Lasco were suspended by Shabalala and subsequently reinstated by Indlovukazi.
Worth-noting is that the resigned Army Commander did speak about the power-struggle between him and Mashikilisane in the recent electronic evidence released by the Investigation Unit of this Swaziland.
But the meeting came subsequent to the suspension of Brigadier Lasco, the Head of Royal Guard and the subsequent discovery of missing weapons that were allegedly recovered in possession of Prince Lindani\'s right-hand man in the army, Brigadier Thembinkosi Mngomenzulu, a close relative of Inkhosikati Sibonelo Mngometulu(LaMbikiza) and a Commanding Officer at Phocweni, he was among the key players in the recent shooting of civilians by the army.
These secret meetings allegedly took place on or around April 2020 at the time when the King was critical at Manzana Royal Hospital struggling to breathe and foreign doctors had to fly into country to assist, this was disguised by government as the “doctors where here to assist COVID-19 patients”.
Questions were sent to Tengetile Khumalo, the Spokesperson of the Umbutfo Eswatini Defense Force but she had not responded by the time of compiling this report.
Army Commander Jeffery Shabalala who eventually resigned after being exposed by this publication was appointed by Mswati in a secret meeting that was exposed by this publication.
“Following what befell me recently, I have decided to plead with their Majesties that they allow me to resign and hand over this position to someone else,” he said.
Lieutenant General Mashikilisane Fakudze who is part of the faction that is more into the Indlovukazi was announced as the Acting Army Commander on Wednesday at the Army Headquarters.
“Indlovukazi is one of the major players now in the decision making, she overruled the King to appoint Mashikilisane. But you must understand that there is a possibility that Fakudze is holding the seat pending the appointment of a Prince, that’s the information we have here”, said the army insider.
Even though the appointment of the Acting Army Commander was announced by National Defense Chief Officer Prince Sihlangusemphi on behalf of Mswati, army insiders maintained that the appointment was endorsed by the Queen Mother.
“The King has appointed umfana wayo(his boy) Mashikilisane Fakudze”, said the National Chief Defense Officer.
Acting Army Commander Mashikilisane Fakudze.