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WHY do we suddenly want to be identified with horrible things as a nation? Where did we go wrong, or have we been cursed? Surely, if recent incidents are anything to go by, God has forsaken this Kingdom of Eswatini and the devil is operating.

What’s with the kidnapping of children, murder, rape, abuse of drugs, especially alcohol, and all the like? I know this may sound like a broken record as others have talked about these issues, but this has become ‘indzaba yetfu sonkhe’.

I am of the belief that if everyone could stand up and say NO to such barbaric behaviour; things would change for the better. I am of the view that we have let this go on for far too long, to an extent where the rascals among us find their nonsensical behaviour acceptable. No wonder we are making ‘headlines’ for all the wrong reasons in the international scene, where we have been rated among the worst performing countries in almost everything.

Just last week, the Royal Eswatini Police Service released shocking statistics, where it was revealed that on average, 61 women were raped and 10 people murdered monthly. Worth mentioning is that these statistics were for a period of 17 months; from January 2017 to May 2018. This came in the backdrop of our honourable ones (I am not sure if they deserve this tag) dillydallying in passing the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Bill. Though it was finally passed, the damage had already been done and it is continuing.

The most sickening part is that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are not total strangers to the victims. It was reported that some of the rape cases happen in a home setup, where the perpetrators are closely related to the victims one way or the other. That is barbaric and only cowards can stoop so low. How is it possible for a REAL man to rape a five-year-old? Some of these hooligans are biological fathers to the victims.

Recently, we have witnessed a hike in the kidnapping and murder of innocent souls; children for that matter. Some are associating this madness with the elections, linking it with people who want to run for the elections.

These people, it is said, believe that human body parts would help them to be popular with the masses, and as a result amass votes that would land them a seat in Parliament. Who said we need a Parliament littered with emajabhane? Let’s say such people end up being elected; would they come to the party and support proposed Bills aimed at protecting the vulnerable in society?

Though, when he released the statistics, National Commissioner of Police Isaac Magagula eluded to the fact that they (statistics) were shocking, he did not come out clear how, as a law enforcement agent, they were going to deal with this challenge. Such statistics should be accompanied by the number of arrests and concluded cases, in which due sentences have been meted out.

It is an undisputed fact that ever since this scourge of children being kidnapped reared its ugly head, no suspect has been brought to book. Our police always say they are investigating – until when? We DEMAND action Bafana BeMbube, ASAP! The only cases which police have been able to ‘crack’ very fast are those related to ‘passion killings’. Is this because these cases are ‘easy’ – in the sense that it becomes ‘easy’ to link the victim to the aggressor? I am sure Magagula’s boys can do better than this.

On the flip side, can’t our ‘idle’ army be roped in to assist in such cases, where innocent children are kidnapped, killed and mutilated willy-nilly in communities? By the way what is the job of the army in this country – somebody please enlighten me? Why can’t we make good use of them by deploying them to the communities around this time of elections? From where I am sitting, I see this as an option to explore.

We have a bulging army, as recruitments are carried out now and then; however, they sit and do nothing while innocent lives are lost out there. Do we realise as country that this is a serious matter, because if we do, we would have taken decisive action by now? Those in the high echelons of power are only good at condemning, but no action. Surely if we may have soldiers patrolling in the communities, these rascals who have made snatching our children a habit, would think twice.

On a parting note, as a nation we need to keep our alcohol consumption in check. Recent findings released by the World Health Organisation revealed that the level of alcohol abuse in the country was alarmingly high.

Actually, out of 47 countries on the continent we were rated number six – another shocking statistic. It is a fact that alcohol, most of the time, plays a huge role in cases of abuse such as rape. When a person has taken one too many, they may do things that they would regret the following day. We can do better than this. Kahleni maSwati akitsi, konakele kuphi?                    

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