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MDZIMBA – Soldiers are trained to be fearless, but for once, they are scared of just chickens.

This scenario is said to be playing itself out at Mdzimba Army Barracks situated in the Hhohho Region.
According to sources close to the matter, who did not want to be identified because they are not mandated to speak to the media, the soldiers were tormented by about 200 indigenous or free range chickens.


The sources said they could not give the number of soldiers based at the barracks for security reasons.
Describing the scenario at the camp, one of the insiders said the birds could be found everywhere.

“You can find them inside our dormitories. Sometimes you will come across a hen laying eggs on the bed. And the sad thing is that you cannot shoo the chickens in fear of victimisation,” the source said.

However, they did not state the nature of punishment if found to have ‘reprimanded’ the chickens from invading their privacy.
They stated that they could not even slaughter the chickens in fear of the unknown, especially threats from the senior.
Explaining the threats, the sources said the mere mention of certain names linked to royalty was enough.


Adding, the sources mentioned that chicken poo and feathers were found littered around the camp and dormitories.
“These birds are just a nuisance. They make a lot of noise, especially in the mornings and sometimes at night. We cannot enjoy our rest peacefully,” another interjected.

Asked if the grievances had been reported to their superiors, in unison, the soldiers said they had, numerous times.
They stated that the response they got from their bosses was that the chickens belonged to a certain member of royalty who was also a soldier.

“However, the bosses would sometimes sing a different tune and say that the chickens belong to a senior member of the royal family,” one of the sources alleged.

They pointed out that this was one of the main reasons they were afraid to touch or even hit the chickens.


Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) Public Relations Officer Lieutenant Nkosinathi Dlamini confirmed the matter.
Dlamini acknowledged that the chickens were indeed a menace as they would be found everywhere.

“We have been told about the noise pollution, feathers flying around and chicken poo littered everywhere,” he emphasised.
However, Dlamini was quick to point out that they had not received a formal complaint from the members of the army.

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