Swaziland (eSwatini) police and soldiers were out in numbers to block prodemocracy marches across the kingdom at the start of an intended global week of action.
Campaigners hoped to deliver petitions of complaint to various constituency centres in the kingdom ruled by King Mswati III as an absolute monarch. Pollical parties are barred from taking part in elections and groups advocating democracy are banned under the Suppression of Terrorism Act.
On Monday (6 September 2021) police dispersed gatherings, marches or petitions at many places including Ludzeludze, Ntondozi, Lugongolweni, Ntfonjeni, Kukhanyeni, Manzini North and Manzini South.
At Sidwala, protestors held a political meeting and later people sang political songs. They tried to march to Mankayane but police dispersed them.
Meanwhile, about 100 Lomahasha and Shewula youth managed to march despite police roadblocks but they could not deliver a petition.
More than 300 people were cornered by police to stop them from marching to deliver a petition to the Nhlangano Police Station. They managed to march to the bus rank, but were quickly turned back by police and Correctional officers.
The protestors sang and danced while police took pictures and videos of them.
More than 20 police from the Siteki Police Station and Lubombo Regional Police Headquarters stopped about 20 Lugongolweni youth members from holding a prayer service at the Siteki Town Council Hall.
Soldiers were deployed at Siphofaneni to deter protestors who intended to march in the town. The Times of eSwatini reported allegations that soldiers assaulted five people.
Plan to blockade Swaziland border as campaign for democracy intensifies