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ARMY CHIEF INSTITUTES INQUIRY INTO UNESWA INCIDENT

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MANZINI – Army Commander General (four-star) Moses Hulumende Mashikilisana Fakudze, has instituted a commission of inquiry regarding the incident which took place at UNESWA on Tuesday.

This is according to a statement which was issued by Umbutfo Eswatini Defence Force (UEDF) Public Affairs Officer 2nd Lieutenant Tengetile Khumalo yesterday afternoon. In the statement, Khumalo said subsequent to the incident that took place on May 17, 2022 at the University of Eswatini (UNESWA), Kwaluseni Campus, where the UEDF was involved, as a military, they would like to state their position on the matter. “The UEDF commander has since instituted a commission of inquiry to ascertain as to what exactly transpired, and find underlying facts on the aforementioned incident,” the public affairs officer said.

Thereafter, she stated that the UEDF was a professional establishment, hence it strongly condemned all unprofessionalism in every possible way. With that being said, she said action would be taken accordingly should anyone be found to have been on the wrong side of the law. Moreover, the army’s spokesperson said the issue was now with the pertinent law enforcement agency and on the same breadth, on the UEDF’s rightful structures. Therefore, she said the UEDF assured all emaSwati and citizens that the organisation was in place to serve and protect in every possible professional manner.

Protest

It is worth noting that earlier, this publication had sent a questionnaire regarding the matter to the army’s public affairs office. In the questionnaire, Khumalo was asked what triggered the military men to attended the the protest action by UNESWA students at Kwaluseni Campus, and if protocol was followed when the soldiers attended to the matter. The army spokesperson was also asked how bad the situation was, which could warrant soldiers to attend to the protest and if there was any criminal offence that the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS) President Colani Maseko was found to have committed, which made the soldiers torture him in the manner they did.

Again, another question was what offence did the soldiers recommend to the police to charge Maseko with when they took him to the Matsapha Police Station. She was also asked if soldiers were warranted by the law to force people to roll on the ground and assault them. Once more, it is worth mentioning that during the commemoration of the UEDF Day last month, the Army Commander General (four-star), Fakudze, said the secondary mandate of the military was contained in the King’s Order in Council of 1977, where as an army, they assisted on request. He said the piece of legislation said they should assist the police in the restoration and maintenance of law and order. Fakudze said the above orders were also stipulated in the Police Act, and it said the national commissioner (NATCOM), which in this case was William Tsitsibala Dlamini, when he found that there was an unbearable situation, he had to write to the incumbent army commander to assist and the latter had to comply.

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