MBABANE: Sisana Gumbi, a widow was allegedly assaulted at kaNgcamphalala Royal Kraal for taking the Chief and Umphakatsi to court after the traditional leaders interfered in the operations of a sugar-cane scheme.
Speaking to this Swaziland News, Gumbi, the Chairperson of Tikani Investments said she believed the traditional leaders were harassing her merely for being a woman, she had previously taken the authorities to court and later appealed a judgment by Justice Nkosinathi Maseko who sided with the Umphakatsi.
“I challenged them in court after they tried to interfere with the operations of our company that deals with sugar-cane schemes in the area, they tried to remove me by imposing the election of their friends into the Committee so they can benefit from the scheme, however, Judge Nkosinathi Maseko sided with them. We then appealed the judgment by Judge Maseko, however, I’m now receiving death threats and I was beaten at the Umphakatsi premises recently” she said.
Reached for comments, Asa Shongwe, the Indvuna of KaNgcamphalala umphakatsi asked to consult the area’s authorities before commenting.
“Can I please consult with Labadzala(elders) before commenting. I am an Indvuna and I cannot speak to the media about such issues without consulting”he said.
Speaking to this Swaziland News, Colani Hlatswako, the One Billion Rising Africa Regional Coordinator said cases of women who hold high positions in company schemes in the rural areas were escalating, she strongly condemned the harassment of Sisana Gumbi.
“We normally encourage women to occupy high positions but most of the time, they face harassment merely for being women. We encourage other women in the area and men who are against this to rise up and support Sisana. We will also make a follow-up to monitor her situation”, said the One Billion Rising Coordinator.
Eswatini, a tiny Kingdom situated in Southern Africa has about 70% of the population living below the poverty line, women's rights are disregarded by traditional leaders despite the existence of a Constitution that promotes same. Life is literally a struggle for most women in the rural areas who survive through subsistence farming, they are deprived their right to land by traditional leaders who disregard the Constitution while using the Swazi Law and Custom that undermine the rights of women on issues of land.
It has been disclosed that Judge Nkosinathi Maseko presided over a matter where Sisana Gumbi was challenging the Umphakatsi for conducting elections of the Tikani Investment with the aim of illegally removing her from her position as Chairperson.
She later ran to court to challenge the decision of the Royal Kraal, however, Judge Maseko ruled that the legitimate Commitee was the one supported by Umphakatsi saying the scheme was on Swazi Nation Land.
But Sisana Gumbi later appealed the judgment and won, she was later harassed by the traditional leaders and residents who wanted to remove her so they can benefit from the sugar-cane scheme.
“One of them even told me called me saying he will kill me so he can benefit from the shares in the scheme, I am now living in fear” she said.
Widow Sisana Gumbi and Judge Nkosinathi Maseko