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Swaziland Newsletter No. 485

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  • Richard Rooney
    SwazilandNewsletter No. 485 –  30 June 2017News from andabout Swaziland, compiled by Africa Contact, Denmark (www.afrika.dk) incollaboration with Swazi
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30, 2017
      Swaziland Newsletter No. 485 –  30 June 2017
      News from and about Swaziland, compiled by Africa Contact, Denmark (www.afrika.dk) in collaboration with Swazi Media Commentary (www.swazimedia.blogspot.com), and sent to all with an interest in Swaziland - free of charge.
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      Ritual murders at election time
      Swazi Media Commentary, 28 June 29 2017
      Swaziland’s Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) has called for an end to ritual killings around voting time.
      The EBC is concerned about reports of people mysteriously disappearing across the kingdom. There has been evidence of ritual murders in past elections.

      Voters go to the polls for the national election in 2018 at a date yet to be set by King Mswati III who rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. The EBC is touring the kingdom in a series of ‘voter education’ meetings.

      At KaLanga in the Lugongolweni constituency EBC educator Cynthia Dlamini said ritual murder reports increased during election time. 
      The Swazi Observer reported on Monday (26 June 2017), ‘Dlamini said this was one belief driven by lunacy which, tarnishes the image of the country in the process. She said the commission condemns such beliefs and called for intensive investigations against those who would be suspected of ritual killings.’

      At the last election in 2013, The Swaziland Epilepsy Association warned that cases of the abduction of epileptic people always increased during elections.

      Mbuso Mahlalela from the association told the Swazi Observer at the time it was common that during the time of elections the vulnerable were targeted and abducted. He spoke after a report that a 13-year-old epileptic boy might have been abducted for ritual purposes.
      The number of ritual murders increases during election year. Before the previous election in 2008 a march by civil society groups to draw attention to the problem was banned by the government amid fears that it would bring bad publicity to Swaziland and might embarrass King Mswati, who had spoken out against the practice.

      The Times of Swaziland reported at the time the march had been motivated by the mystery disappearances and murders of women. Some of these had been found mutilated fuelling speculating that they were related to rituals.

      Some Swazi people believe body parts can be used as ‘muti’ which is used to bring good fortune to candidates at the election and help them to win seats in parliament.

      In 2008, it was strongly rumoured in Swaziland that the reason why members of the government wanted to ban discussion on the ritual murders was that some of them had themselves used ‘muti’ to get elected.

      See also

      Wednesday, ‘Children could soon die of hunger’
      Swazi Media Commentary, 28 June 2017
      School administrators in Swaziland are imploring poverty-stricken parents to send their children to school with food as hunger grips the kingdom. They say children could soon die.

      Parents should at least give the children sweet potatoes to suppress hunger pains, they say. The call comes after the Swazi Government failed to pay for food for the children as the economy slumps.

      Food shortages have hit schools all this year and the government school feeding scheme known as zondle has collapsed.

      The Times of Swaziland reported, ‘As the food shortage situation in schools worsens, the Swaziland Association of Schools Administrators (SASA) has pleaded with parents to at least put sweet potatoes, tindlubu (jugo beans) or umbhonyo (boiled peanuts) in their children’s lunch boxes so that they could have something to eat during break time.

      ‘The administrators were of the view that this would enable the pupils to at least concentrate during lessons.’

      The newspaper added, ‘Sphasha Dlamini, the Secretary General (SG) of SASA said the situation in schools was getting worse by the day.’
       The Times reported, ‘The head teachers said hunger was written all over the faces of the pupils, something that made teachers’ jobs difficult.

      ‘The school administrators have sent a number of requests to government, asking it to act fast on the matter because they fear that they would soon start losing lives due to hunger in schools.’

      In a report in May 2017, the World Food Program estimated 350,000 people of Swaziland’s 1.1 million population were in need of food assistance. WFP helped 65,473 of them. It said it was regularly feeding 52,000 orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) aged under eight years at neighbourhood care points. About 45 percent of all children in thought to be OVCs.

      It reported chronic malnutrition affected 26 percent of all children aged under five.

      Bad food poisons 200 Swazi pupils
      Swazi Media Commentary, 23 June 2017
      More than 200 children in Swaziland were treated for food poisoning after allegedly being served contaminated meat at school.
      It came a

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