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MBABANE – Ludzeludze RDA employees were yesterday held hostage at their workplace by furious farmers.

RDA is an acronym for Regional Development Area.
The gripe was unavailability of fertilizer at the RDA. This is not the first incident as Motshane farmers also turned violent on Monday after they were informed that some of them would not get the available fertilizer bags. According to sources, farmers gathered at the Ludzeludze RDA gate yesterday afternoon and demanded their bags of fertilizer.

After seeing that they would not get them, they blocked the gate and made it impossible for anyone to enter or leave the government station. The farmers stated that they would not leave until they received their bags.

The situation was eventually saved by the arrival of police officers who normalised the situation. Also locked in was the Ludzeludze Member of Parliament, Bambumuti Sithole, who attempted to reason with the angry farmers who would hear none of what he was saying. In an interview, Sithole confirmed that the situation was tense and that he made attempts to reason with the farmers to listen to what the RDA officers were telling them. He explained that they were told that the truck that had to deliver the bags was still at the border gate and they would receive their fertilizer today.

Sithole narrated that he would today accompany the farmers so he could witness when they received the bags. He said they were promised that three trucks would deliver the bags of fertilizer today.

He made it clear that he was against demonstrations and pleaded with the farmers not to engage in such. He admitted that at first they were hostile but eventually listened to his plea. “I talked to the minister (Agriculture) who apologised and said they were doing everything possible to ensure that farmers got their fertilizer in time,” Sithole said.

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