By KWANELE DHLADHLA | 2022-09-22
The spate of cold blooded murders, shooting of both security forces and general populace together with robberies committed almost on a daily basis using mostly unlicensed firearms has resulted in communities deciding on taking the law into their own hands.
As a result of what has been termed ‘country under siege’ in certain quarters, the people have decided to take the law into their own hands.
At the northern parts of the kingdom, Buhleni, hundreds of angry citizens have given the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) a seven-day ultimatum to bring the suspected murderer of the 10-year-old girl from Luphikweni to book or they effect public justice.
The same sentiments have been expressed by residents of Msunduza in the capital city.
During a meeting convened on Sunday, the fed-up residents claimed police fear visiting some areas of the township and as a result took a decision to deal with suspects who brandish guns and all sorts of weapons as they commit daylight robberies.
At the southern part of the mountainous kingdom in Nhlangano, police have also been petitioned with a stern warning to either to come up with an effective strategy to eliminate the ever rising crime rate or they will use their own tactics to keep themselves safe.
Businesses, especially the Asian community who have fallen victim to the trigger happy thugs who make every frantic effort, including committing murder just to cash in, have also called upon the police service to ‘pull up their socks’ to avoid making the country lose out from millions of Emalangeni as investment.
Nhlangano residents have been called to a meeting where crime would be the main item on the agenda. The meeting will be held tomorrow.
National Commissioner of Police (NatCom), William Dlamini, admitted that there were too many firearms on the loose lately.
He said their investigations had also uncovered some of the culprits who possess the illegal firearms whom they would work day and night to arrest.
“We are also worried of the rising murders and crimes which happen at different parts of the country lately. The police are doing everything they can and up-scaling their efforts to curb any form of lawlessness,” Dlamini promised.
He said in line with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Firearm Amnesty during the month of September, they were calling upon all holders of illegal guns to hand them over to the police.
NatCom promised that they would not arrest anyone who brings an illegal firearm during this month.
“If we find anyone with an unlicensed firearm when the amnesty has lapsed, they will face the long arm of the law because we are lenient at the moment,” Dlamini warned.
Dlamini went on to advise the public to desist from taking the law into their own hands despite any circumstance. He said there would be no sympathy for anyone who decides to do the work of security forces.
“We will arrest any individual or group which decides to take the law into their hands,” he said.
NatCom said even in cases where the community has a suspect in mind, they should report to the police who have expertise to investigate every form of crime.
Similar to the statement by the Swatini Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) to the effect that the justice system has a critical role to play in deterring and preventing gender-based violence cases from occurring over and over again by ensuring speedy trials, making arrests, and giving stiffer sentences, NatCom urged judicial officers to deal harshly with repeat offenders and suspects who commit crimes intentionally with the comfort that they will be granted bail.
“The courts must help us by reconsidering the bail conditions of suspects who intentionally commit murder and other serious crimes because they have money to pay up in order to walk free then commit the same crimes again,” he pleaded.
In response to the allegation to the effect that police officers were no longer attending to crime scenes in certain areas, he disclosed that they had already devised a strategy to deal with crime infested areas where the lives of police officers become under threat when executing their duties.
“I would also strongly advise against waylaying police officers as they protect the citizenry and the entire nation,” said Dlamini.
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