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MBABANE – Yesterday, Kenyans under the burner of human rights defenders marched in their capital city streets, Nairobi, demanding justice for the late Human Rights Lawyer Thulani Maseko.

The marchers were demanding that regional and international solidarity mechanisms must stand with the people of Eswatini in demanding justice for the slain human rights lawyer, who was shot dead while at his home at KaLuhleko last weekend. He was laid to rest this past Sunday and his funeral was attended by throngs of mourners, who came from all walks of life. They also condemned murders of human rights defenders in their country and in Africa at large. Prior to this, the Kenyans gathered at Mboya Monument for a two-hour long candlelight vigil in honour of Maseko.

They described Maseko as one whose advocacy work stretched in all corners of the Southern Africa region, where he made immense contribution to the advancement of justice and human rights in countries like Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi, where he reported on the deterioration of civic space in the region. “In Eswatini, many will attest that Maseko was a steadfast believer of social justice and freedom,” said the defenders. When sought for comment, Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MSF) Secretary General (SG) Sikelela Dlamini said the demonstration by the human rights defenders in Kenya showed a sign of solidarity. He said as MSF, they welcomed and appreciated what the Kenyans did.

Dlamini said actually, they were welcoming such demonstrations even if they were done anywhere in the world, as long as it was a demonstration against the brutal murder of Maseko. Dlamini said they welcomed such demonstration as they sought to end the political impasse in Eswatini and also demand a political dialogue in the country. He added that as MSF, they may not point at the government to be held accountable for Maseko’s death yet because there had been no proof to that effect. He said instead, they were demanding that there should be an independent investigation. Maseko met his death while he had just been recently re-elected as MSF Chairperson.

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