MANZINI – The government of SWAZILAND has warned members of the public to take care when handling food and drinking water following a recent diarrhoea outbreak.

Hlangano Health Centre at work (Pic. Agencies)

The TIMES OF SWAZILAND says the alert comes when the Kingdom, now re-named ESWATINI, is reeling under serious economic difficulties, which have led to a health crisis.

It says the disease is currently affecting children below the age of FIVE and the outbreak has been detected mainly in the SHISELWENI and HHOHHO Regions.

The publication quotes what it refers to as sources within the health sector as saying medical workers started recording cases of diarrhoea in the SHISELWENI Region early last week.

However, the most affected area so far is said to be NHLANGANO, where the disease has killed SIX children under the age of FIVE since last WEDNESDAY.

The deaths occurred at the NHLANGANO Health Centre, which is admitting another 13 patients: while a number of other kids of the same age group have had to be treated and discharged due to a shortage of wards.

According to the same sources, medical experts at the MBABANE Government Hospital in the capital have recorded an increased number of children with diarrhoea – although they have released no figures.

Health Ministry Principal Secretary DR SIMON ZWANE has confirmed the outbreak of the deadly, yet preventable, disease: but says such an epidemic is common during this time of the year.

He says the Kingdom starts to receive flood rains around these months, as it happened last week, and it is when chances of the outbreak of such diseases become high.

However, Principal Secretary ZWANE says the current epidemic is coming when the country has been on high alert – given the reports of cholera in some countries in the SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY Region.

The TIMES quotes him as saying the diarrhoea affecting his country is unrelated to cholera, and people can prevent it by washing hands with clean water and soap before touching food and after visiting the toilet.

The situation in SWAZILAND comes as countries like ZIMBABWE have issued state of emergency declarations following serious outbreaks of cholera, which authorities fear may spread throughout the SADC Region through cross-border activities.

In a separate incident, a number of unknown assailants have this past TUESDAY tried to kill the whole family of a Chiefdom Councillor, Bucopho MDUDUZI MNDZEBELE.

The local politician, who won as a Bucopho under the MAFUTSENI Constituency in Primary Elections more than TWO weeks ago, had to be rushed to MKHIWA Clinic after collapsing in MANZINI City.

Bucopho MNDZEBELE, who says he does not have a suspect in mind yet, explains how he had left home on the same morning going to drop off some documents at the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office in the commercial capital.

He says he only drank some water from an outside tank used by the whole family before leaving, but he started shivering, vomiting, and collapsed after seeking medication when he had felt weak in the body.

The SWAZI local politician says the suspects had poisoned the water tank at night, because he woke up to find himself admitted together with the whole family including wife, brother, grandmother and a THREE-year-old child./Sabanews/cam



LUQOLWENI – A newly hired contract teacher who went for THREE months without pay has killed himself at a school in Central SWAZILAND.

Pensive King Mswati the Third after death of wife (Pic.

The TIMES OF SWAZILAND names him as 33-year-old MXOLISI NDLANGAMANDLA of KA-MKHWELI Primary School, which is outside SIPHOFANENI Town in LUBOMBO Region.

It says he allegedly took his own life by drinking the deadly grain weevil tablet, apparently after failing to cope as he found himself drowning in debt.

The late NDLANGAMANDLA, a graduate from LIMKOKWING University of Creative Technology, died a few days after his FIRST salary, which may have not been enough to cover his borrowings.

He passed away on a SUNDAY at the homestead of the deceased at LUQOLWENI, an area about 31 kilometres east of HLATIKHULU in the SHISELWENI Region.

ONE of his sisters found him slouched in his bed, and when family members entered the room – they smelled the deadly grain weevil tablet. They reported the case to the police.

Relatives say the late NDLANGAMANDLA had paid them a visit from his workplace over the weekend, and they had expected to return to the school on the SUNDAY he died.

The sister who raised the alarm had asked him for some money to buy a laptop, and she had gone to his house – in the same family homestead – to check if he was able to help her.

The TIMES says she had become curious after her late brother did not respond to her repeated knocks on the locked door.

It says the young woman then peeped through the window and found NDLANGAMANDLA still in bed, but sleeping in an unusual position.

ONE witness says she immediately alerted other family members, who forced entry into the house.

The relatives say they suspect the man took his own life due to huge debts acquired in the THREE months he had to wait, as a new teacher, without pay.

They say he was finding it difficult to raise enough money to settle his debts, because the pay he eventually received last month was just not enough.

NDLANGAMANDLA’s shocked father has expressed confusion about what pushed his son over the edge, saying he personally searched the house hoping to find a suicide note; but there was nothing.

He says all the family has to do is to speculate on the reasons that could have driven his son to such extremes.

The SWAZI old man says the suicide has left them so confused as a family, because his son had seemed to be so in charge of his life.

The death of the teacher comes amid media reports saying the EIGHTH wife of King MSWATI THE THIRD also committed suicide early this year.

The late wife of the King of SWAZILAND, SENTENI MASANGO (37), allegedly took an overdose of about 40 capsules mostly used to treat depression./Sabanews/cam



Mbabane City (pic. Agencies)

MANZINI – The government of SWAZILAND has pacified alarmistic reports of a serious shortage of fuel in almost all its administrative structures.

The TIMES OF SWAZILAND says Public Works and Transport Permanent Secretary MAKHOSINI MNDAWE has told the media it is common for petrol and diesel to be in short supply from time to time.

He says the government supplier delivers fuel at national depots in a rotational manner, and stations complaining of being dry may be crying for a commodity that is on its way.

Nevertheless, the TIMES says EMASWATI should get ready for an absence of public service delivery because the authorities seem to be facing their worst fiscal challenges.

It quotes unnamed sources well placed within the administration as alleging the government is fast running out of fuel due to debts it has not settled with certain dealers.

They claim the national fuel tanks at the Central Transport Administration are running dry, and the situation has forced some ministries to ground a number of vehicles.

If the situation continues, they say it is most certain all government cars will soon go aground, affecting essential services like the police, health, Fire and Emergency, and others.

The TIMES quotes the same insiders as saying the shortage of fuel has been due to national cash flow challenges affecting the country since the economic meltdown started years ago.

Essential service officials who have also withheld their names agree there is a crisis, which may cause difficulties in public services.

The TIMES quotes some of them as saying they at times have to drive from the Central Transport Administration in the capital, MBABANE, to MATSAPA Town.

However, the more than 32 kilometres journey does not guarantee joy, as MATSAPA Depot can declare empty tanks; and if not, chances are one may get far much less than a tank.

The sources claim government vehicles take turns to refuel, like the Royal ESWATINI Police Service – which refuels on FRIDAYS, while other departments need a memorandum to fill up.

The TIMES further quotes more unnamed sources within the force as admitting the shortages have reached near-crisis levels, because their station depots have also run dry.

They say fuel tanks within the police stations fill up only on specific days, meaning a car cannot just refuel at anywhere else except at its authorised place and on the designated days.

The government of SWAZILAND has not issued any further responses to the question of the alleged serious fuel shortages reportedly threatening a stoppage in public service provision./Sabanews/cam



Equitable distribution of land remains a pipe-dream (Pic. Agencies)

WINDHOEK – KHOMAS Region in Central NAMIBIA has kicked off public consultations ahead of the forthcoming SECOND National Land Conference within the next THREE months.

NBC News says the authorities have launched the TWO-day-long process this THURSDAY morning.

The exercise involves gathering ideas for inclusion onto the agenda of the Conference from different demographic groupings, communities, and political parties in KHOMAS.

Provincial Governor LAURA MCLEOD-KATJIRUA called on residents to take part openly and make contributions that will help make the expected vital land discussions a success.

She says land is a critical component in efforts to address past social injustices and improve the economic well-being of citizens, hence the need for proper management and distribution.

Governor MCLEOD-KATJIRUA says in order to speed up land reforms and redistribution, the country needs to find out what has worked and what has not, before coming up with resolutions.

She has therefore, appealed to people attending the consultation meeting to come up with concrete recommendations that will help shape the outcome of the SECOND National Land Conference in OCTOBER.

Land has remained a hot issue in NAMIBIA since liberation from apartheid rule in MARCH 1990, after the willing-buyer-willing-seller plan that was part of the independence deal failed to work over the years./Sabanews/cam



King Mswati the Third (Pic. Agencies)

MANZINI – A 60-year-old man from the SALUKAZI area in the MANZINI District of SWAZILAND has been brutally killed by unknown assailants.

The TIMES OF SWAZILAND says a search and rescue party discovered the body of NICHOLUS SIMELANE in a thick bush after he had gone missing this SUNDAY.

It says his upper body was burnt beyond recognition, with witnesses at the scene saying they saw a tyre that they suspect to have been used to burn him.

The people also say the elderly man had left his home the same SUNDAY morning for a meeting at the Umphakatsi, an administrative subdivision smaller than an Inkhundla.

The TIMES says the late SIMELANE left the Umphakatsi premises after the meeting, just like all others; but he then visited a nearby drinking spot where he drank until late evening.

It says a source privy to the details of the matter alleges information gathered after his disappearance suggests some people followed him when he left the drinking hole.

The newspaper says the gang is alleged to have publicly threatened Mr SIMELANE after they suspected him of wrongdoing, which it says cannot be mentioned due to its sensitivity.

On the other hand, witnesses say the body of the elderly man appeared to have gaping wounds that appear to be a result of severe assault.

Earlier on when his family realised he did not return on SUNDAY evening they made efforts to at least, get hold of him through his mobile phone but it was off.

His children continued calling his number until a voice answered on MONDAY morning, pretending to be the late Mr SIMELANE – and saying he was stuck in a stream.

ONE of the witnesses says the area has many streams, and when the person was asked to be specific, he hung up.

Although the child who had called said the voice on the other end was not his father’s, they kept on trying the number until the phone was switched off at last.

The TIMES says the murder of the old man has baffled residents, who say the SWAZI Police had to work around the clock to locate the late SIMELANE./Sabanews/cam



Typical Swazi hut (Pic. Times of Swaziland)

NSANGWINI – A 78-year-old granny and her four-year-old grandchild have been killed after the thatched hut they were sleeping in caught fire in Centre-western SWAZILAND.

The TIMES OF SWAZILAND says the TWO were burnt beyond recognition during the fatal incident at NSANGWINI, a remote area near the MAHLANGATJA Inkhundla of MANZINI District.

It quotes 57-year-old MFUNWA NHLABATSI as saying his mother, Gogo LOMBALISO MASEKO, was sickly and mentally unstable due to old age, and always slept with the lamp on.

He says the late old woman would sometimes crawl to the door and leave the hut, which forced the family to switch off the lamp and lock the door; but this time they left it burning.

Mr NHLABATSI says they had stopped using candles because they feared a similar incident would occur, not knowing the lamp they later bought would in fact lead to her death.

The family suspects the late granny had tried to crawl and knocked off the lamp, which fell onto the blankets and eventually set the whole hut ablaze.

Mr NHLABATSI says before he discovered the hut had caught fire, he heard a sound and suspected it was lightning – as the weather had changed during the night.

He says he saw a huge flame coming from the hut when he peeped through the window, and he immediately went out and raised the alarm for other residents to help put out the fire.

However, despite the help from neighbours, Mr NHLABATSI says they failed to rescue his late mother and the little boy, BANELE PURENA MDLULI because the roof had already collapsed.

Police from the MAHLANGATJA Post, led by Inspector MUZI PHUNGWAYO, arrived at the scene and found the TWO bodies already burnt beyond recognition, and they took away the remains.

The TIMES says the Fire and Emergency Services personnel also arrived at the scene, but the residents had already managed to put out the burning.

It quotes Mr NHLABATSI as saying on the night of the incident, his mother literally refused to let him put out the lamp saying she feared getting attacked by strange dreams.

He says the family is still traumatised by the fatal event because although their mother was old and sickly, she did not deserve to die the way she did; and considering that the fire also claimed the life of an innocent child.

ONE neighbour only identified as BABE MKHWANAZI says the incident is the most painful encounter he has ever come across in his life.

He says he heard the screams and immediately heard the shouting for help; but they failed to assist because as they came running with containers of water, the whole hut collapsed and buried the TWO.

SWAZILAND Police Chief Information and Communications Officer Superintendent KHULANI MAMBA has confirmed the fire incident, saying they are conducting further investigations./Sabanews/cam



Traditional Swazi marriage ceremony can take days (Pic. Cabrini Ministries)

MBABANE – A woman in Southern SWAZILAND has successfully applied to the High Court to stop her husband from marrying another wife.

HLOBISILE NDWANDWE METFULA of MOOIHOEK in SHISELWENI Region filed an urgent application after she got wind that MBONGENI METFULA had been engaged.

The TIMES OF SWAZILAND says the engagement ceremony between MBONGENI and HLOBISILE NDLANGAMANDLA, with whom she shares a FIRST name, took place at the TERBANACLE Church this MAY.

It says in her application, Ms NDWANDWE METFULA has produced pictures of her husband putting a ring on Ms NDLANGAMANDLA’s finger during the event.

She says TERBANACLE Church members alerted her of the planned marriage, saying the TWO had engaged before Pastor FUTHI SIMELANE.

Ms NDWANDWE METFULA has also shown the Court pictures showing her husband and Ms NDLANGAMANDLA standing together.

She has told the Judge she has been advised, and truly believes MBONGENI and Ms NDLANGAMANDLA could contract a civil marriage anytime from now.

The TIMES says Judge TITUS MLANGENI has issued the order prohibiting the husband from formalising or contracting a civil rites marriage with Ms NDLANGAMANDLA.

However, he has delayed judgement on other matters Ms NDWANDWE METFULA filed, including declaring the relationship between MBONGENI and Ms NDLANGAMANDLA adulterous.

Ms NDWANDWE METFULA has also cited Pastor FUTHI SIMELANE as the THIRD respondent in the matter.

She has cited the cleric in his official capacity as the Pastor of TERBANACLE Church, as he reportedly officiated the engagement of MBONGENI and Ms NDLANGAMANDLA.

Ms NDWANDWE METFULA says she is the lawful wife of MBONGENI, after contracting a civil rites marriage in community of property on 18 JUNE 2018 at PHUZUMOYA.

She says their matrimony still subsists and the marriage certificate is allegedly in the possession of MBONGENI.

Ms NDWANDWE METFULA has further told the Court the couple have a matrimonial home at MOOIHOEK in the SHISELWENI Region, and they have THREE children.

The government of SWAZILAND recognises civil marriages as well as marriages under the traditional and customary law./Sabanews/cam



Parliament of Swaziland in session (Pic. Apanews)

MBABANE – Civil servants who wish to run for political office in SWAZILAND have been advised to ensure they pay back monies they owe the government.

Public Service Ministry Principal Secretary EVART MADLOPHA says public workers have taken loans for study purposes, to buy cars, as advanced pay, and for a number of other reasons.

He says recovery of such money will help the Kingdom to provide efficient services to the people.

Mr MADLOPHA says it will be wise for employees planning to join the forthcoming parliamentary race to pay before nominations at their royal kraals, since the dates are already public.

He says the government has allowed civil servants to make commitments because it is aware some of them owe huge amounts they cannot pay back before the start of the elections.

The official also says many public employees have shown interest to join the legislative polls this year, with some applying even before the votes were talked about.

The TIMES OF SWAZILAND quotes him as saying they expect to receive more applications for leave of absence because many more people want to try their luck.

Civil servants wishing to take part in elections should be prepared to contribute 20 percent to the SWAZILAND National Provident Fund, as the employer will not be contributions during their leave of absence.

The government also says the aspiring candidates should submit their applications for leave of absence on time, in order to avoid inconveniences while preparing for the polls.

It says workers who fail to make it at the ballots can still notify the government and return to work because the law allows them to do, just like the successful ones can also return after FIVE years – although with the same rank.

However, the President of the NATIONAL PUBLIC SERVICE AND ALLIED WORKERS UNION says the government is oppressive to the workers.

AUBREY SIBIYA says as far as the union was concerned, civil servants should take part in the elections without being forced to make the so-called convincing commitment to their employer.

He says the authorities should not view things as if the aspiring candidates are joining the elections to generate money.

Mr SIBIYA says parliamentarians and civil servants are benefiting from ONE source, which was why his Union believes the government should continue to deduct the loans without forcing people to make commitments.

The labour leader says when civil servants get salary reviews, so do the politicians; which shows they serve ONE government, and the only difference is politicians benefit more than civil servants.

The Parliament of SWAZILAND, also known as LIBANDLA, is bicameral, comprising a lower chamber (the House of Assembly) and an upper one (the Senate).

Election is by secret ballot in a FIRST-past-the-post system of voting under which some of the members of both chambers are elected, and the King appoints the rest.

Members of both chambers serve FIVE-year terms after having run on a non-partisan basis, as political parties are banned in the Kingdom of SWAZILAND./Sabanews/cam


Daring kidnappers can even snatch kids in front of police stations (Pic. Agencies)


MPOLONJENI – A BURUNDI family living in SWAZILAND has had a tough experience after a messenger of court locked away the mother and her TWO children for about a week.

The TIMES OF SWAZILAND says what had always been their place of comfort and happiness turned into a holding cell for SIX days simply due to unpaid rentals.

It quotes the father, JEAN BOSCO, as saying his wife and the children aged ONE and FOUR, underwent degrading and inhumane treatment.

He says the mother and small children had to use buckets to relieve themselves in the house because the toilets in the compound are outside.

Mr BOSCO says he had to bring food for his family daily and give it to them through a window until after police and Ministry of Home Affairs officers rescued them.

He says his rented flat was locked after he failed to pay rent, which was slightly below TWO-THOUSAND emalangeni (or 157 US dollars 23 cents).

However, they had allegedly agreed with the landlord he would pay an extra 10 percent in the event of failure to settle rentals on time; and the new measure has come as a surprise.

Mr BOSCO says his family was locked in the flat while he was away attending training in EZULWINI Town.

He says he reported the matter to the police after learning of the incident, but they told him to make sure the report was correct FIRST before expecting help.

The authorities only acted after Mr BOSCO confirmed a messenger of court with a legal order had indeed locked in his wife and children.

In a separate incident, criminals continue to kidnap children, some of whom end up dead, despite a growing outcry over the abductions.

The TIMES says MLIBA Police Station in central SWAZILAND has recorded TWO cases of abduction, ONE involving a 15-year-old boy taken while entering his family kitchen early in the morning.

It says the MANANA family woke up to screams from some residents who had just seen TWO men grab their boy and bundle him inside a blue sedan that immediately sped off.

The grandmother, NORAH MANANA, says the child managed to escape and ran through the forest and returned when the car stopped for ONE of the kidnappers to open a wooden gate.

He had gone to the kitchen to get some water so he could take a bath and go to school when the TWO immediately pounced and took him to a car parked a distance from the home.

Grany MANANA says while they were trying to contact the police and search for him he returned home, crying hysterically.

She says she found everything in the kitchen upside down when she opened the door, showing the kid, SIHLE, had put up a fight before they overpowered him.

Meanwhile, another TWO men whisked away a 14-year-old girl and bundled her into a sedan while she was coming from the shops near MLIBA Police Station.

The whereabouts of the SWAZI girl are still not clear, amid reports that most child kidnappers in SWAZILAND do it for ritual purposes involving murder of the victims./Sabanews/cam



High Court of Swaziland (Pic. Agencies)

KANDINDA – Residents of KANDINDA area in the SWAZI commercial city of MANZINI have severely assaulted a teacher accused of sodomising THREE pupils at a local school.

The TIMES OF SWAZILAND has named the teacher as SITHEMBISO MBETSE (28), saying he has since appeared before Magistrate XOLILE NXUMALO at MALKERNS Circuit Court.

It says the police arrested the suspect and charged him with FOUR counts, including indecent assault and contravening the Children’s Protection and Welfare Act.

The Court has heard Mr MBETSE would allegedly call the pupils for extra lessons and study at his house, situated within the teachers’ quarters at KANDINDA Primary School.

The prosecution claims he would then drink red wine with the kids until they got drunk, and later start kissing them, perform indecent acts and then sodomise them.

A colleague of the accused, who preferred anonymity, says the alleged crimes went on until ONE of the pupils decided to report the matter to his family, and the school is still shocked.

The SWAZI teacher allegedly sodomised the pupils without using protection, which means he could have exposed his victims to sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and AIDS./Sabanews/cam