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MMEMA ABDUCTED FROM HOME, SHOT DEAD IN FOREST

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NTONDOZI - SFDF DSG Muzi Mmema was snatched in front of his wife and four children and shot dead, in a forest, which is about 20km away from his home.

Three of the four children are his biological offspring. According to a source close to the matter, the deputy secretary general (DSG) of the newly-formed Swazis First Democratic Front (SFDF) was snatched by four unknown men who were travelling in a white foreign registered Ford Ranger double cab, just after 7pm on Tuesday, at his home in Ntondozi in the Manzini Region. The source said Mmema was from watching soccer matches - festive tournament at Ntondozi Sports Ground. He was at one of the neighbouring homesteads when he saw the aforementioned vehicle by his home and rushed there to attend to it.

Children

When the car arrived at the deceased political activist’s home, who was also a businessman in the micro-lending sector; the occupants purportedly opened its bonnet as if it had mechanical faults or was overheating. Thereafter, they reportedly asked for water from Mmema’s children, who were playing in the yard. While Mmema’s children were fetching the water to give to the unknown men, who turned to be the killers of their father, the political activist arrived where the car was parked. Immediately when he arrived, the unknown men bundled him into their vehicle and he yelled for help by shouting inyandzaleyo as the unknown men were supposedly overpowering him.

When his wife and children rushed towards where the car had been parked, they saw Mmema wrestling with the unknown men, who were forcing him into their vehicle and they sped off, towards KaNdinda and that was the last time they saw him alive. In the morning, his lifeless body was discovered by people who were passing by. The forest, which is next to the road to Sidvokodvo (about 20km from his home) and members of the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS), who attended to the matter, went with some of his family members to the scene, where they identified him. The deceased’s farther, Linda (Mmema), confirmed that his son was snatched by four men who had parked their car by his home and asked for water from his children. He said at home, there were the deceased person’s wife and four children.

He said the matter was reported to the police and the law enforcers came to his home to record statements. Thereafter, he said they promised to investigate the matter. Afterwards, he said the law enforcers returned to give them feedback that they had found the body of his son in a forest, along the road to Sidvokodvo and they invited them to the scene for identification purposes.  “We found his body and it had a bullet wound on the left side of the chest – close to the heart. He had some bruises on the neck, but we believe he sustained them when he was wrestling with the men, who forced him into their car,” the deceased’s father said.

Gunshot

In that regard, he said they believed that the cause of death was the gunshot wound to the left side of his son’s chest. When he was asked if there was anything the deceased had said to them, which might make them have a suspect in mind, he said they neither knew who killed his son nor why he was murdered. “We have not heard anything that suggests that he might have had enemies or arguments with certain people or organisations,” the grieving father added. He said what they heard was how he was snatched by the unknown men and what the police had told them regarding the discovery of his body.  Mmema is one of the former members of the Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO), who joined the newly-formed SFDF. In fact, at SWALIMO, he was Manzini district organising secretary.

It is worth noting that these violent acts have been happening in the country since the June/July 2021 unrest. The protests were sparked after calls for political reforms and culminated in violence, vandalism and looting of private and public properties, including businesses, some of which were torched. In the process, dozens of emaSwati were shot dead were by members of the State security organs and some were left with permanent disabilities.

Report

According to a report which was released by the Human Rights Commission, at least 291 people were shot in two days (June 28 and 29, 2021) and they included 19 children. The report said 48 of those who were shot died and they included two children. Recently, SWALIMO Assistant National Organising Secretary (NOS) Sibongile Manyika, survived a hail of bullets, as unknown gunmen fired several shots at her house located at Ngwenya Village. In the process, the gunmen shot at Manyika’s house and car. Manyika and her husband escaped unharmed, but considerable damage was left in the house and several bullet casings were found at the scene of the shooting. Also, Penuel Malinga, who is the National Organiser of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) escaped unharmed with his family, after unknown men fired 11 gunshots at his house and also set alight his car, a Ford Ranger 4x4 double cab 2.2, 6-speed.

Prior to that, PUDEMO President Mlungisi Makhanya suffered damages amounting to about E1.5 million, as his home, which is located at Ntandweni in Malindza was bombed by unknown people. Also, a car (a Mercedes-Benz E250) belonging to Sive Siyinqaba National Movement Acting Chairman Ngomuyayona Gamedze, who is a former deputy Senate president, was burnt by unknown people and the damages amounted to about E375 000. Before that, PUDEMO Secretary General Wandile Dludlu’s car, a white Colt bakkie, valued at E150 000, was set alight by arsonists, while parked less than 20 metres away from his house at Corperation in Mbabane.  Also, there was an attempt to petrol-bomb SWALIMO President Mduduzi ‘Gawuzela’ Simelane’s house at Fairview in Manzini

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