March planned in support of Eswatini MPs charged with terrorism

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Several organisations have condemned the arrest of two members of parliament in the Kingdom of Eswatini.

Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube were arrested on Sunday.

A protest march has been planned to take place on Thursday when they appear in court for a bail application. The Swaziland Multi Stakeholders Forum says it is in support of the march.

The two members of parliament, Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube have been charged with terrorism. This follows the violent protest action that erupted in Eswatini, last month. They are accused of inciting the violence that left a trail of destruction of property and several people dead.

Mabuza and Dube have been in custody since Sunday.

“They are both charged with contravening section 5 of the Suppression of Terrorism Act. In that in the month of June 2021 they incited a revolt against the constitutionally established  government Eswatini in all the regions of the county. The second count faced by Bacede Mabuza is that on the 5th of June at a gathering that he had organised, he failed to follow the disaster management regulations in particular the regulations dealing with the coronavirus pandemic” says Sifiso Jele, a legal representative.

It is reported that so far more than 600 people have been arrested following the violent protests and more could be arrested. Apparently police in Eswatini are also looking for another member of parliament, Mduduzi Simelane. This after a warrant of arrest was issued against him a few weeks ago.

In a statement, the Swaziland Multi-Stakeholders Forum says a peaceful march will take place in support of Mabuza and Dube when they appear in court.

PUDEMO’s secretary Wandile Dludlu says they are against the arrest of those who are calling for democracy in Eswatini.

“We thing and hold that this affirms our long standing assertions that the Tinkundla systems does not respect neither recognise that for it to govern it must have a will and the consent of the people. So these dubious charges must fall,” says Dludlu.

The US Embassy in Eswatini has also condemned Mabuza and Dube’s arrests.

The Eswatini government has on the other hand refused to comment about the matter, saying the it is sub-judice.

Pro-democracy groupings in Eswatini boycott the national dialogue called by King Mswati III: