When media reports emerged, suggesting that junior police officers were struggling due to the lack of electricity within the various camps, the first question that came to mind was “where did the billions for State security go?”
Perhaps, it is of paramount importance to state that regardless of our different political views on how this country should be governed, we need to agree in principle, that the department of State security is one of the most important and sensitive organs whose issues should be prioritized by the government of the day.
The term ‘State security’ refers to measures taken, not only to enforce the regulation of human conduct by maintaining law and order but to protect the territorial structure and independence of this country.
Our country can invest millions of Emalangeni buying weapons and or equipment for the security forces but who will operate those weapons if the police, warders and the army are not taken care-of by the government of the day?
It is very important to understand that under normal circumstances, State security agencies should protect the people, the army, police and the Correctional Services should not be a personal property of King Mswati but these officers should be loyal to the country not any person.
The King has been laundering billions of Emalangeni, manipulating the national budget by claiming that the money will be used on State security but subsequently, we witnessed electricity services being withdrawn by the Eswatini Electricity Company (EEC) for non-payment of bills, where is the multi-billion security budget?
We can condemn the conduct of some rouge police officers who are eager to impress the King and those in power by torturing independent journalists, human rights defenders but the fact of the matter is that even the coming democratic government will need a strong police organization and the army in the interest of State security.
It is very unfortunate that such national security institutions had their reputation damaged by the fact that King Mswati is using them as his ‘hit squads’ to target those who oppose his dictatorship rule while he continues to steal billions of taxpayer’s monies in the name of State security, this should be condemned.
The law enforcement, the department of Correctional Services and the army are national institutions, their mere existence should not protect the selfish interests of King Mswati but the Nation.
It should be noted that as a country we are faced with a huge political ‘monster’, King Mswati, who believe this country is his personal property and that State security officers are his security guards, the truth is, the King will one day leave the Throne but these institutions will always be there regardless of changes in the political system.
Therefore, we took exception that a whole government could buy multi-million vehicles for the King and a few months later, electricity went-off in police camps, what kind of a government is this that ignores the welfare of security officers?
Apart from this mess, we cannot ignore the fact that, like all civil servants, security officers are struggling due to low salaries as the inflation continues to hit hard in their pockets, the sharing of houses within the various police camps that resulted to the breakdown of many marriages and contributed to the spread of COVID-19 among officers is a matter for another day.
What is preventing the government from constructing houses and proper accommodation for the police with the multi-billion State security budget, is it because only senior officers should have a decent lifestyle, corruptly sharing the E100,000.00 monthly budget meant for informers while junior officers are living in squalor?
It’s true that this government is collapsing but for the regime to neglect state institutions in favor of an extravagant lifestyle for the King amounts to gambling with the country, maintaining law and order remains one of the key services that should be rendered to the people without any disturbance.
Actually, we are not against law enforcement and security, but we discourage the abuse of power where such institutions are used to fight personal political battles, the police, the correctional services and the army should not be manipulated by few individuals including King Mswati to push their political agendas.
Government must account how the State security monies are spent when the various police stations are struggling with transport, more cars are parked at the Palace servicing one family while citizens are terrorized by criminals in the rural and urban areas.
But it is now evident that the King is not wise, he doesn’t understand that once the country becomes ungovernable, with the security officers frustrated by low wages and the non-availability of basic necessities of life, they might turn the guns against him, he cannot blind them forever.