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Swazis free to associate - King

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image His Majesty King Mswati III leaves the arena after inspecting the guard of honour during the Police Day celebrations held yesterday at Matsapha Police College.

MATSAPHA – His Majesty King Mswati III has declared that people are free to associate in Swaziland, as opposed to the perception by many that there was police brutality in the kingdom.

“A commendable note that I have observed is that the police have not shown themselves as enemies to the nation but as friends,” he said.
Speaking during the Police Day celebrations held yesterday at Matsapha Police College, he said people who have been to the country could attest to that because there were many incidents they could refer to in order to see how well-behaved the police were.

“These days we are in the national elections process. I am grateful to know that the nation has participated without fear of the police. The nation will be meeting and discussing elections issues and campaigning, this is evidence that there is freedom of association in Swaziland and there is no police brutality. I declare that people are free to associate in the country, His Majesty said.
He said even in places of gatherings and meetings where people meet, the police were present only as partners of the communities and to ensure the smooth-running of the processes.

“I am just picking on this issue because I know that the police are not enemies to the public or the other way round. I really commend your relationship with the nation and the communication line that is always open, especially in the investigation of crime. I implore you to maintain the professionalism that you have already displayed,” he said.

His Majesty noted the great contribution made by the police regarding peace and stability in the country.
He said, “You have been arbitrators of peace and have handled situations without causing tensions. You have put up peace-keeping strategies that really work.”
He explained that he was aware that at times, situations required a firm hand but the police have continued to display professionalism even in those instances.

“Swaziland has taken a decision of becoming a First World Country, this cannot be possible without peace. I, therefore, encourage you to continue with all the efforts of maintaining peace to enable the country to achieve its goal,” he said.
The King expressed delight at the dedication shown by the police in their duty, which he said required them to be up and about 24/7. “I am delighted to learn that you have worked even in awkward times of the day.  I hope you will continue to avail yourselves when you are needed as you took an oath,” he said.

His Majesty said the recent SADC assessments have proven that Swazi police lead in professionalism.
He said since crime knew no boundaries, the police have succeeded in combating cross-border crime through networking with police from other countries.

“Your effort to keep up-to-date in terms of technology is also a good idea because crime is also taking a new twist in terms of advancement. Your acquisition of knowledge and skill will enable you to tackle modern crime,” he said.
He said the nation had gathered to celebrate with the police because they fully supported their work and appreciated their important duties.
“We are here to celebrate the Police Day. This is the day where we are joined by the nation to observe your commendable work. It is a day where the police service comes together to thank God and the ancestors, where you display to the nation that there is a harmonious relationship between the police and the public. You all took an oath when you assumed your duties in the police service and I am grateful that you still abide by the oath,” he said.

He noted that the nation also gave assurance to provide the police with all the necessary equipment because it understood how crucial these things were to help them rightly execute their duties.

“Since we want fit and capable police officers who will spring into action whenever necessary, we fully support you and it is for that reason that I am here also to officially open the clinic, which is an important component to prevent cops from losing focus onto their core duties,” he said.
He described it as a highly-equipped facility that he hoped the police would value and preserve for future generations.

“Construction of the clinic could not have been a success without assistance from international friends. The American Government has helped us a lot in the construction of the clinic. I, therefore, request the American Ambassador to pass our gratitude to the American Government,” he said.
The King also said the presence of trainees from the Equatorial Guinea was indicative of good relations that the country has with other countries. He was then presented with a large portrait of himself and two cows.


... hundreds brave weather for Police Day

MATSAPHA – Hundreds of people braved the light drizzle and converged at the Police College Arena to witness the 12th celebration of the Police Day yesterday.

The police service was established as a force in 1907.
People who had all along been displaying a sombre mood, probably due to the cold and rain, literally came to life at about 11:55am when His Majesty the King arrived. The event began with the singing of the national anthem, inspection of the Guard of Honour and an opening prayer by Assistant Superintendent Gabriel Dlamini.

Soon after that the police band rendered the slow and quick time displays for the audience that had already shaken-off all the cold. The Guard of Honour comprising trainees who were enrolled in February this year took to the podium.
It was led by Superintendent Mandla Mdluli who, at a later stage handed over to Senior Superintendent Ross Maseko who was Great Commander of the day.

These trainees will be passing out next year during the 13th celebrations of the Police Day.
The police paraded before His Majesty the King and also sang a song they had composed on the vision statement of the police. The band played songs including, Onward Christian soldiers, When peace like a river, Jehova Sibonga Wena, Asambeni Siyomdumisa, Siyabonga Jesu and Iseyincane Lengane.

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