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CALL TO SILENCE GUNS NOT DIRECTED TO SECURITY FORCES - ALPHEOUS

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MBABANE – Government Spokesperson Alpheous Nxumalo has said the call to silence guns was never directed to the national security forces, especially the police service.

In a statement, Nxumalo, however, reiterated that the call from the throne was legitimate, urgent and imperative. “Government has noted with concern the obvious misinterpretation and application of the call to ‘silence the guns’. “His Majesty King Mswati III’s call was inspired by the African Union’s Agenda 2063. It aspires to end wars and conflicts, prevent genocide and stop gender-based violence,” the spokesperson explained. Further, he stated that there was a need to categorically put things into a proper perspective concerning the call from the King which he made during the official opening of the Fifth Session of the 11th Parliament.

“It seeks to free Africa from the many destructive effects of gun-related violence and armed conflicts by the year 2030. “Primarily, guns that need to be and must be silenced are those which are illegitimately or illegally in the hands of people in the country. “The call to silence the guns was never directed to the national security services, especially the police service,” Nxumalo said. Meanwhile, he made inferences that the call means that the police can no longer legitimately use guns to protect themselves when being attacked by criminals and by other rowdy elements in society, which is not only mischievous but also plain naive.

Executing

“There’s no politician or parliamentarian worth the honour, who does not know that police are permitted by law to use certain force when executing their duties, especially when they are being attacked or there is resistance to a lawful arrest. “Section 189 of the national Constitution, as read together with the Police Service Act, mandates the police the duty to preserve peace and prevent crime. In the execution of such, they are empowered to carry firearms,” he clarified. Nxumalo went on to point out that the symbols of lapel pins, badges and emblems attached to the uniform of national security services officers are representative of the nation itself/people and the State.

"They are the visible authority and power endowed upon the national security services. They are endowed upon them by the Constitution and by other subordinate legislative acts. “That is the reason why the uniform of all national security services is protected State property. That is why a national security services officer, whether short or tall; male or female; black or white or anything in between, will stop a huge truck on the road by simply raising one hand,” he further explained. Also in the statement, Nxumalo specifically stated that anyone who attacks a uniformed officer of the State is as good as having attacked the people of that country, the institutions of the country and the State itself.

“National security officers display their badges, patches or lapel pins to indicate pride in their work and commitment to the service.“For officers of the law with rank, their lapel pins show how hardworking they are and their sacrifices for the communities. Secondly, they signify trust. “Any civilian, after seeing the badge, will become less anxious, which is why civilians retain the right to ask officers of the law to show their badge to clear any doubt,” he said. Furthermore, Nxumalo pointed out that these emblems, lapel pins and badge patches also serve as a form of motivation among their (police) own ranks to work harder.

Encourages

“It encourages junior officers to work towards achieving the same status. His Majesty’s Government, therefore, urges all emaSwati to respect, cooperate with and support national security officers while they are executing their duties,” the statement reads. As a parting shot, the government spokesperson stated that the national security services of this country are not enemies of the people, but partners, defenders and protectors of the people. “They are carrying out their respective duties diligently, lawfully and by adhering to the provisions of the Constitution,” Nxumalo said.

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