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PIGG’S PEAK – While the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) is going out of its way to collect unlicensed fire- arms from the public, some emaSwati are manufacturing their own guns – illegally.

These illegally-manufactured firearms find their way to locals who use them to commit crimes including robbery and even murder.


Sifiso Dlamini, a police officer from the firearms registry department under the police Headquarters in Mbabane revealed that some of the guns used to commit crime were in fact manufactured locally.
Dlamini was speaking during a thanksgiving party held at Ndzingeni Inkhundla on Saturday.

Dlamini revealed that the illegal firearm industry made use of welders, who were able to make the weapons.
He said these firearms then found their way into wrong hands, and were used for gun-related violence or robbery.


Dlamini urged that members of the public should handover firearms, which were not registered to the police, adding that they would not be arrested.
He said this was one of the efforts the police were using to retrieve firearms, which were illegal.The police officer, however, warned that one could be arrested if found with a firearm which had been used to commit a crime.


He further said the illegally manufactured weapons were easily accessible even to children because they were not kept in safe boxes as per the requirements.
“They instead hide them under their mattresses,” said Dlamini.
Noteworthy is that gun-related deaths are common in the Northern Hhohho, particularly in dagga-related disputes.

During the past five years, several shootings have been reported in the Northern Hhohho and they were mostly as a result of dagga-related disputes.
In one such case, the body of a man was discovered several days later within a government ranch where dagga was illegally grown.
The deceased had been shot.

According to the Small Arms Army Survey conducted in 2017 under the Graduate Institute and Development Studies in Geneva, Eswatini is one of the few countries where the number of unregistered firearms was higher than the registered ones.

Frank Hurube, the National Crime Prevention Coordinator, also addressed members of the public and urged them to visit the various counters which were manned by police officers.

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