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OPEN LETTER TO HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYERS

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Sir,

Kindly publish our open letter to the Human Rights Lawyers of this kingdom. Does the human rights scale tip more in favour of people occupying an old lady’s homestead at the expense of the old lady who is now exposed to harsh weather conditions and living in the wilderness.

These people are boasting that it their human right to remain there until the Masundvwini Umphakatsi Libandla provides them with suitable accommodation.
Gogo Shongwe, the daughter of the late LaManyatsi, KaShali under Masundvwini Chieftancy, is a victim who was evicted from her rightful home by a certain man and his sons. They have their indisputable home at Kutsimuleni, where they came from to reside at KaShali. Immediately after LaManyatsi died, they inflicted a stab wound on Gogo Shongwe and evicted her.


Gogo Shongwe reported the eviction matter to the Masundvwini Umphakatsi Libandla and reported the stabbing matter to the police, however, no arrests have been made. The libandla convened a community meeting where all the speakers said they knew Shongwe as the daughter of the soil, and the man and his sons had recently relocated to the area. When asked by the libandla to point at a house they had built, to signify ownership, they couldn’t. The libandla then ruled and gave them six months, to have evacuated the homestead by the end of December 2017 and Gogo to come back home.


After December 31, 2017, Gogo Shongwe told the libandla that she was still in the wilderness. And as a result of royal duties the libandla was unable to meet to deliberate on the matter. It eventually became clear that the libandla had lost interest in the matter such that a certain individual told the elderly woman that they were tired of her issue.


Gogo then thought of the Queen Mother and soon found a way to go to Ludzidzini Royal Kraal.
After deliberations the late Umngani Wemakhosi TV Mtetwa ordered the Masundvwini Libandla to evict the man and his sons but the libandla failed to honour that order, saying they were still looking for suitable accommodation for the Kutsimuleni folk.


After several visits by Gogo Shongwe to Ludzidzini, Babe Dambuza Lukhele ordered the libandla to involve the police and evict the violent culprits.
They have not moved in spite of the ‘Bayethe’ applause, the knowledge that the police would be involved and also a letter from the Ministry of Justice informing the libandla that an order from chiefs or emabandla had authority equally enforceable as High Court orders, but still they care less.


They maintain they have a right to be moved from there by a vehicle provided by the libandla, even though they have a van, and a right to be provided with accommodation forgetting that they have a home at Kutsimuleni where they came from.


Recently a member of the libandla was heard saying a senior prince, in Manzini , told them to ignore the issue of the elderly woman. Is this a case of all animals are equal but some are more equal than others? Which human rights are they relying on? Clearly the rights of the elderly woman are being violated by these people. Gogo Shongwe has the right to have whatever she needs so that she does not fall ill. In this case she is at risk of contracting pneumonia and TB.


Do these people understand the human rights approach, that all laws and services (libandla, police, nurses, ndabazabantfu, lawyers etc) are for everyone even if they are very poor, old, young, male, female and people with disabilities. Government must act openly, be accountable and must always realise the rights of its people. May the Human Rights Lawyers please enlighten us.

Concerned citizens
KaShali Manzini

NOTE: In an effort to afford them the right to reply, this letter was emailed to one of the Human Rights Lawyers on Tuesday, August 28, and one of his staff members stated that she would forward it to him so that he may reply. However, this has not happened.
Ed

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