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MBABANE – Community police have roped in Hunter Shongwe as their National Commissioner (NATCOM).
This was confirmed yesterday during a meeting that was held by community police members represented by chairpersons from around the country. The community police members met at a place around Mbhuleni in Matsampha.

Shongwe is a well known private investigator. He was clad in a camouflage. They said the situation of security was a serious concern that many of them were now afraid to perform their duties because they did not feel safe anymore. *July, who is one of the community police members stated that since recent shootings of police officers around the country, they were afraid of patrolling.

“How can we patrol the community with bush knives when they are carrying guns?” asked July. He also narrated that a community police member, who had been patrolling while carrying a bush knife was ordered to hand it over by a gang of men armed with guns. During their meeting yesterday, the community police members said they were even scared to speak on record because they would be identified and attacked during the evening in their homes.

Among the concerns they mentioned are that they did not have uniforms, housing, vehicles or gadgets to defend themselves. They also said they were being used by the police without any compensation. The community police members also commended the police officers at Sigodvweni for the work they were doing in fighting crime in the area. They commended the police for the manner in which they handled a situation whereby eight men who had been accused of robberies in the community were engaged in a shooting with the police.

Further, they said though they witnessed how police officers ended up shooting dead five alleged robbers, they were left traumatised and they were no longer feeling safe. They said many of the community police members were now not eager to speak on the record because they feared being targeted. Even the chairperson of the community police officers declined to speak on record at the meeting.

When asked why they had appointed Shongwe as their NATCOM, the community police officers stated that it was because they believed he could argue on their behalf and make it possible for them to get recognised. “We also want to be paid for our work,” said a community police member. He said they were confident Shongwe would even go as far as meeting His Majesty the King on their behalf to convey their grievances.

Shongwe will be formally introduced to the community police in the country on January 21, 2023.
Meanwhile, some of the residents expressed concern that their communities were no longer safe. They said this was because it appeared criminals were taking advantage of the political situation.

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