Thursday 2024-05-30




By PHEPHILE MOTAU | 2023-11-15

With statistics indicating the alarming rate in which gender based violence (GBV) has increased in the country, newly-appointed Deputy Prime Minister, Thuli Dladla, has undertaken to make this her priority.

The deputy prime minister, who is the second female to hold the position, said although they would not be reinventing the wheel, they as Cabinet would come up with a plan of addressing this issue because the underlying causes had been identified.

She said such studies have been done by the United Nations, Swatini Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) and the DPM’s office.

“That will be number one, the rest will follow,” Dladla said.
She shared her sentiments on the issue that many have long been calling to be declared a national disaster during the swearing-in of Cabinet ministers at the Private and Cabinet offices yesterday.

She said His Majesty King Mswati III spoke strongly against GBV and that she would consult with stakeholders to come up with an action plan before moving forward.
During the national end of year prayer on Saturday, His Majesty said there was no bad deed between partners to warrant the killing of the other.

The king said he had noted in recent times that men and women have hurt each other, something which was not right. This comes amid shocking statistics revealed by the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) that 147 murders and 133 suicides were recorded within 10 months.

The deputy prime minister’s undertaking comes as the nation is up in arms over the scourge.
In the past few weeks, four women were shot and killed by a deputy sheriff, with a fifth left in the ICU from the same incident.

This was followed by the murder-suicide, which occurred in Ngwane Park where a man shot and killed his wife before turning the gun on himself.
Another gruesome incident of gender-based violence was the stabbing of a girl at a bus stop at Siphocosini.

To this end, concerned organisations have embarked on protest marches to raise awareness on the scourge.

Law enforcers, the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) and His Majesty’s Correctional Services (HMCS) also sprang into action by organising a GBV awareness campaign last Friday.

The DPM’s commitment to prioritising the fight against GBV has been met with approval by women organisations who have also lauded the appointment of a female DPM who have also expressed their hope that she will declare it as a national disaster.

Dladla said Emaswati spoke at Sibaya and therefore she would get hold of the submissions and then identify the areas that need attention.

She said Cabinet had to work as a collective as no one had a claim to one ministry.
“We have to instil to Cabinet that every ministry belongs to all of us and we are expected to deliver,” Dladla said.

The DPM said they had to deliver against all odds and that she was up to the challenge and would not disappoint His Majesty as that would mean they were disappointing all Emaswati.

The DPM further stated that there would have to be timelines and they should deliver.
“I will not just sit in the DPM’s office that is not my office, the office is with the people,” Dladla added.

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