Tuesday, January 26, 2010


The editor of one of Swaziland’s few independent newspapers has called on the kingdom’s chief of police to stop ‘lunatics’ in his force from killing civilians indiscriminately.

There has been a spate of killings by police in Swaziland making people suspicious that the Royal Swaziland Police Force has a shoot-to-kill policy.

Thulani Thwala, editor of the Swazi News, writing in his own newspaper, warned Commissioner of Police Isaac Magagula ‘against handing loaded guns to lunatics’. He called for a ‘ceasefire’ on police shooting civilians.

He goes on, ‘While I personally appreciate cops fighting crime in the country, it becomes worrying when they open fire and shoot at people indiscriminately.

‘I challenge Isaac to convince us that the lunatics within his force will be brought under control. I still fail to understand how a person (suspected criminal or not) is shot in the head. What is going on really?

‘Has the shoot to kill slogan been misinterpreted? Isaac, please do something about the dwindling morale and humanity levels. I call for cease fire.’

Meanwhile, a police constable accused of shooting a civilian who was hitch-hiking along the Mliba road has made a remand appearance at the Manzini Magistrates Court.

Sivuno Lushaba, aged 29, from Sihlutse in the Shiselweni region will appear again tomorrow (27 January 2010). He has yet to enter a plea.

The police officer is said to have shot the hitchhiker under unclear circumstances, something that led people in the community there to hold a march to the police station to demand answers.

The shooting occurred a few days after police shot and killed three alleged robbers who were attempting to break into the Valley Farm factory at Sidvokodvo.

Barnabas Dlamini,
Swaziland’s illegally-appointed Prime Minister, has ordered an enquiry into the Sidvokodvo shootings.

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