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MANZINI – A total of 12 members of TUCOSWA and SUDF, who wanted to be part of the march to deliver a petition to the Ministry of Labour and Security, were turned back by the police at Lozitha.

The Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) and Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) members were turned back after the minibus they were travelling in was stopped by the police in a roadblock that was staged at Lozitha.

The members wanted to join the march that was intended at delivering a petition demanding that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security take the necessary steps to make sure that the country becomes eligible to benefit from the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Information gathered was that the minibus, trading as MD transport and operate between Manzini and Siteki, was hired by the 12 members to ferry them to Mbabane, where they intended to join the march, which was stopped by the police.

The source said the minibus was stopped at about 9am. It was gathered that when they arrived at the roadblock at Lozitha, the police stopped the minibus and ordered that it should drive back to Manzini Police Regional Headquarters where its driver would be questioned about a variation permit to ferry people to Mbabane.

“The minibus was escorted by a police van from Lozitha to Manzini Police Regional Headquarters.
Upon arrival, the police ordered the driver and one of the members of the organisations to go inside the offices where they were questioned if the minibus had a variation to ferry people to Mbabane,” the source alleged.The source alleged that after about 30 minutes of questioning, the police ordered the other 11 members to get inside the offices where they were allegedly asked their names and places of residence.

The source said they were then freed but when the minibus left the station, it was followed by a police van until at Mahhala, Matsapha, where the members decided to abort their journey to join the march. The source said the members of the two entities ordered the minibus  driver to drive via Mahhala Shopping Complex and back to Manzini.

The Swaziland Unemployed People’s Movement (SUPMO) President, Lucky Dlamini, who was among the passengers, confirmed the matter. He said they decide not to proceed to Mbabane after noticing that police were following them. He said they also had a feeling that they could face another hurdle at  the roadblocks at Lozitha and Mvutjini.

Police Assistant Information and Communications Officer Assistant Superintendent Khulani Mamba confirmed that the minibus was turned back after it was found to have two variation permits to ferry people to Mbabane, which was something that was against the law. He said no one was charged.
Some of the members who were turned back
* Lucky Dlamini
* Philani Dlamini
* Congo Dlamini
*Dumisani Sihlongonyane
* Thandukwazi Dludlu
* Zakithi Sibandze
* Richie Simelane
*Mfanukhona Sibandze
* Thulani Gamedze.a

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