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MBABANE – Leaders of progressive movements are not immune from the ongoing arson attacks across the country.

This is according to the Secretary General (SG) of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), Wandile Dludlu, who said the burning of his motor vehicle was a clear sign that the country was heading for imminent peril as everyone was in a mess. Dludlu’s white Colt bakkie was set alight by arsonists, while parked less than 20 metres away from his house at Corperation in Mbabane. The arsonists remain unknown as no one has claimed responsibility for it. In an interview yesterday, Dludlu said the burning of his car was a clear indication that no one was immune from the ongoing arson attacks on private and public properties across the country.


Worth noting is that, Dludlu is one of the progressive leaders, who are actively involved in the ongoing calls for change. It should be noted that some of those claiming to be involved in the struggle had on numerous occasions claimed on social media that the burning of properties was one of their tools to intensify the struggle. Questioned about the burning of his property yet he was one of the active leaders in the ongoing struggle, Dludlu said he had no clue as to how the burning of his motor vehicle came about. He said he could not even speculate who was behind the arson attack, stating that a lot was happening in the country. He said the burning of properties belonging to progressive leaders should serve as an eye-opener to emaSwati that anyone, be it progressive leaders or loyalists to the regime, could be attacked.

Asked what he could say to anyone planning to set properties on fire, following what had befallen him, Dludlu said the country’s authorities should provide a solution to the problems facing emaSwati. He said the solution did not lie with individuals. Dludlu said the unfortunate thing was that the individuals behind the arson attacks were unknown, hence he could not confront them. “We do not know the people behind the arson attacks so we can call and ask them to stop the burning of properties. The bottom line is that the country is in a hostile environment and the authorities are seemingly refusing to provide a solution. We need to deal with the fundamental issues in order to come out of the problems the country was facing,” Dludlu said.

Probed on how he expected the King to provide a solution, Dludlu stated that there was nothing else than allowing a genuine political dialogue. When asked to clarify on the genuine political dialogue, Dludlu said he meant allowing those in exile back to the country to participate in the dialogue. He said he meant that the King should seek an independent mediator for the political dialogue, for fairness and transparency. “I mean the hostile laws such as the terrorism laws should be scrapped. We want ordinary citizens to be elected into committees as opposed to the appointment of those linked to royalty. The appointment of those linked to royalty has seen individuals having four jobs which attract more than one cheque. We have long been saying that an undemocratic process will never give birth to a democratic product,” he said.

When the SG was asked about the laws which sought to deal with fugitives of the law, he said according to his understanding, people were pushed out of the country for standing up and calling for the truth. He said Eswatini would not be the first country to bring back exiled people, stating that the same happened in South Africa when the apartheid regime surrendered power to the people. Worth noting was that Dludlu has been the third progressive leader to have his property set on fire since the beginning of the political unrest in the country. Other incidents included the alleged attempted bombing of Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO), President Mduduzi ‘Gawuzela’ Simelane’s house in Manzini. Another bombed property belonged to PUDEMO’s Pennuel Malinga.

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