By Sicelo Maziya | 2018-06-30
A Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) organised protest march turned nasty yesterday as police blockade route to DPM’s office.
As a result four people were left injured and were rushed to Mbabane Government Hospital and two were reported critical after some severe bashing from the no nonsense police security.
About 1 000 marchers turned up for the march, but the numbers quickly fizzled out after delivering some petitions in the ministry’s of public service and finance.
Majembeni Thobela, a security guard hired by the Swaziland Security Services, was one of the marchers who received the worst beatings and was reportedly left unconscious at the time of compiling the report. Thobela was severely beaten by the police using batons, kicks and fits in a confrontation which was started by disagreements on which route to take when going to deliver their petition to the DPM’s Offices.
Police reacted to the confrontation by spraying water on the marchers using their water cannon.
Thobela was left covered with blood on his face from head injuries he had sustained in an incident which took place near the geology department gate.
Police watched a helpless Thobela as he talked until he collapsed in front of their line.
First aid was later applied to him by other marchers immediately after the confrontation had calmed.
The police did not even bother to rush their victim to hospital despite that he was oozing blood and lay on the flow.
As the pushing and shoving for passage to the DPM’s office ensued, a police casspir water tanker started to spray the protestors and followed with stun grenades when they saw that the marchers retaliated with stones.
The marchers ran helter scatter towards the geology department with police heavy on their pursuit beating everyone on site with batons.
Other marchers were cornered and severely assaulted by the police.
One Gcebile Ngcamphalala is reported to have suffered a fracture when she was whipped by officers whilst trying to jump over the geology fence towards the Mbabane Library. Police had been hailed for the manner they handled the first session of the petitions in March but all was forgotten yesterday when marchers insisted on using an unauthorise route which broke the camel’s back.
Despite this confrontation, the marchers regrouped, presented their petition to the DPM’s principal secretary near the offices and proceeded with their march to various ministries.
At the prime minister’s office workers toy-toyed sang some protests songs, one of the most used songs was that the prime minister was in the position for the last time (Ubusakwekugcina Barnabas).
REPLY OR BE PREPARED FOR BIGGEST MARCH ON ELECTIONS DAY
Trade Union Congress of Swaziland has threatened the biggest stay away the country has ever seen during the elections day.
The trade union organisation said only the ministry of natural resource had the courtesy of replying on their petition out of all the ministries petitioned.
The Trade union named a litany of issues that government must address in a bid to stop the workers from mobilising a protest on Election Day.
The trade union also added a new petition to the Swaziland Sugar Association where they are accused of harassing the Vuvulane farmers and poor communities of Mafucula, Shewula, Ka-Lonhlupheko and Mnjoli.
The trade union further said they don’t want to find themselves reporting and issuing the country in the list of countries that needs to be suctioned.
The trade unions said the issue of Vuvulane farmers must be solved immediately because the farmers were required to make Vuvulane their permanent home and were asked to abandon their original homes. This is said to have been unearthed after independent researchers piloted by the Swaziland Justice Forum.
In the research it is alleged researchers have dug out documents in the United Kingdom archives and other sources.
The findings alleged prove beyond reasonable doubt that Vuvulane Farm 860 was given to the farmers by the British Government through the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC).
The farmers were settled on the land from 1963 and were promised ownership over their allocated portions of the land after 20 years of occupation.
At the DPM’s Office the march was marred by delays that were as a result of police confrontation with marchers.
Principal Secretary Khangezile Mabuza received the petition on the street after situation was calmed by marshals and first aiders who decided to force their way into an ambulance as police tried to stop them. DPM issues were in relations to the non-increase of the social and disability grant which has become the only source of income.
Unions also said the minister of finance issued so many things that gave the impression that he will provide budgetary allocations.
Issues of the graduating recipients of the Free Primary Education took centre stage on the petition to the DPM and the allocation of the newly qualified for the elderly grant.
Workers said it’s now mid-year and they are not sure if anything has been done to the promises made on the budgeted allocations.
Don’t use King’s name to intimidate public officers – TUCOSWA
TUCOSWA requested that the King’s name must not be used to intimidate public officers who are doing their work properly.
This call is in relation to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) battle with the Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF) which saw the former withdrawing their court application.
The trade union further demanded that the directive to stop the investigation be withdrawn immediately, failure to do so they will respond with the biggest protest action proposed for September 20, coinciding with this year’s National Elections. Minister of Public Service Owen Nxumalo was warned to stop his unlawful conduct because PSPF is a fund for workers not politicians and it is the workers’ duty to protect what belongs to them. In unionism workers said (Hands of our Monies). TUCOSWA demands to know why the probe by FSRA was stopped from investigating the allegations of corruption and fraud happening in the Public Services Pension Fund (PSPF).
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