KAMKWELI: Before the arrival of mourners, police spies arrived in the early morning hours on Saturday, threatening and intimidating the family of Daniel Gamedze who shot and killed by Mkhaya Game Rangers.
Eswatini, a tiny Kingdom situated in Southern Africa and ruled by King Mswati as an absolute Monarch has been wisely criticised by international organisations including Amnesty International for gross violation of fundamental human rights, citizens are killed by the police for exercising their Constitutional rights to freedom of assembly, political affiliation, and expressing themselves on issues affecting their welfare.
Addressing residents of KaMkhweli, Mahlabatsini Chiefdom under Siphofaneni Inkhundla, Hosea Member of Parliament Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza said the time for silence in the midst of oppression was over.
Mabuza who was among other MPs who joined the residents in mourning the death of the resident further expressed serious concerns that police went as far as adding salt in the wound by threatening and intimidating a grieving family.
“It is very disappointing that police who are expected to protect the citizens and promote peace and stability threatened and intimidated the family. Poor citizens are forced to be silent and persecuted even when they are in pain, police are protecting the rich and powerful. But I would like to state clear that I was elected not to represent the people of Hosea only but the whole Nation,the time for silence is over. The police spies who are hiding in that car can record what we are saying and prepare charges if they want”, said the Hosea MP.
A questionnaire was sent to Superintendent Phindile Vilakati, the eSwatini police Spokesperson, however,she had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
Mbongwa Dlamini, the President of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers(SNAT) who was among the mourners said as teachers, the death of Daniel Gamedze touched them because it meant they would teach orphans. He said the nature of their job connects them to human beings and every death touched them directly, because almost on a daily basis, they work with human beings. The SNAT President thanked vocal MPs whose vibrancy in Parliament demonstrated that not all MPs joined politics for personal gain, but some have the interest of the people at heart.
“We would like to thank these MPs who changed the perception that we had about MPs, what you are doing has helped us to understand that not all MPs go to Parliament for personal gain but they have the interest of the people at heart. Mine ngiyi-trade unionist, lelengihamba naye is a former Deputy President wema-nesi, nginentfo lewutsi nawukhuluma bese iyaphakama, bese kutsi angitsi “Phansi Ngema-Ranger Phansi!”said the SNAT President.
Addressing the mourners, Mduduzi ‘Magawugawu’ Simelane, the host MP for the area said Swazis should never be afraid to speak out in the midst of persecution.
“As Swazis, the day we start realizing our rights to speak freely and express ourselves, is the day we will start enjoying life. We were taught to be silent at a young age kutsiwa ubobindza, we are intimidated everywhere at Umphakatsi, school, Government offices such that we were even getting used that being silent is a normal life”, said the Siphofaneni MP.
Bhekitje Dlamini, the Sithobelweni Member of Parliament(MP) said the death of the KaMkhweli resident who was shot and killed by the Rangers touched and reminded him of his brother who was killed by the police.
“When my colleague,the Siphofaneni MP told me about this incident, it touched and reminded me of my brother who was taken for questioning by the police, three hours later, they came back with a report that he has been shot and killed. As MPs, we have come here to comfort you, it's unfortunate that in this country of our forefathers, we are being killed”, said the Sithobelweni MP.
Daniel Gamedze, the KaMkweli resident who was shot and killed by Mkhaya Game Rangers after suspecting him of being a poacher hunter, will be buried on Sunday at his home, Mahlabatsini Chiefdom.
Mourners at KaMkhweli Mahlabatsini