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MANZINI – The Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) is owed about E15 million by government.

Since Tuesday, the company has been disconnecting power supply in all the government institutions.
Information gathered is that the places which were affected by the disconnection included the High Court, most magistrates courts, swaziland National Libraries, Royal Swaziland Police (RSP), Ministry of Natural Resources, Swaziland Broadcasting and Information Services (SBIS), two border posts and the Swaziland Civil Aviation Authority (SWACAA) among others. On Wednesday, power was disconnected in most of the mentioned places, however, by Thursday afternoon, it had been restored.
It is alleged that government had engaged in talks with the company in terms of settling the bill soon.

When this reporter got to the magistrates court on Thursday, suspects from His Majesty’s Correctional Services (HMCS) had been turned back as all the structures, including holding cells, courtrooms, magistrates’ chambers and passages were dark.
Principal Magistrate, the David Khumalo when asked about the electricity issues, confirmed that inmates, especially those kept at the Zakhele Remand Centre and the Matsapha Maximum Prison were turned back as the entire magistrates court was dark.
“We did not want to risk and keep inmates in holding cells simply for safety reasons,” Magistrate Khumalo, who declined to comment further said.

Two years ago, electricity went off at the magistrates court and inmates became violent and started assaulting His Majesty’s Correctional Services officers. The close to 10 officers were saved by Royal Swaziland Police (RSP) officers, who went inside immediately after power had been restored and intervened.

Most police camps were also affected by the disconnection and most police officers, who preferred to comment on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the power supply was cut off last week and they were forced to purchase fast foods and drinks for their families in town.

SEC Corporate Communications and Marketing Manager Sifiso Dhlamini said the company had published a notice recently pertaining to the disconnection exercise to be conducted countrywide.
Dhlamini elaborated that owing customers were notified and advised to settle their outstanding balances before a certain date as disconnections would be effected. “I am, however, not in a position to inform you of the names of the customers as it is unethical.

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