The Human Rights and Governance Consortium, under the auspice of the Coordinating
Assembly of NGOs, was startled at reports that a 22 year old unarmed woman from Mpaka
alongside an off duty soldier were shot dead by the police, and a third person critically injured.
Whilst we will not delve into the merits, demerits and justifications for the shootings, we are
shocked that such occurrences are increasing.
It should be noted that, the Police Service Act No. 22 of 2018 makes it a disciplinary offence
for officers to use unnecessary force. Torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment
is explicitly prohibited. Furthermore, Royal Eswatini Police undergo training which stipulates
how officers are to conduct themselves.
The Consortium strongly condemns killing of citizens by a Police service institution which is in
place to protect lives and properties of Emaswati. Police brutality with no accountability is
deepening anger and frustration amongst Emaswati as they are always the victims.
The consortium advocates for a human rights approach to maintaining peace and order. The
right to life is enshrined in the country’s constitution, which is the highest law of the land.
Further, it is alarming that after this incident the Prime Minister’s Office responsible for the
Police and the Police leadership have not issued an informative statement, taking the nation
into their confidence on what really happened.
To this end, this consortium reiterates its call for an independent investigation of this incident
and others where Emaswati died mysteriously like the Kunene gentleman who was also killed
in cold blood. There is need to avoid violence against citizens being an entrenched culture in
the police service.
The consortium continues to advocate for the establishment of an independent body which
will investigate such incidents and will be empowered to deal with police misconduct,
especially violations which go against the police service Act of 2018 and other legal
instruments such as the Chapter 3 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland 2005.
Emaswati lives matter!
By the Human Rights Consortium
Date: 30 August 2022