Catholic Commission in Eswatini Decries Violence, Advocates for “meaningful dialogue”

Credit: CJPC Eswatini

The Commission for Justice and Peace (CJPC) in Eswatini’s only Catholic Diocese of Manzini has denounced violence taking place amid political instability in the Southern Africa kingdom.

Officials of CJPC Manzini who emphasize the need to have an “all-inclusive and meaningful” talks to address the political instability that began last year say recent events such as King Mswati III’s  comment telling police officers meet fire with fire to deal with targeted attacks “appear to give the impression that the leadership seems to be reneging on the promise for a full inclusive dialogue.” 

“We denounce the arrest, victimization, brutalization and criminalization of the voices calling for political reforms. We also denounce all crimes committed in the name of the security of the State, as if the State were absolute and not at the service of the people,” CJPC officials say in a Wednesday, November 2 statement.

They say the Emaswati government needs to allow the largest number of citizens to take part in the nation’s public life. The Emaswati also need to decide how they wish to be governed, CJPC officials add.

Officials of Eswatini’s lone Catholic Diocese also condemn violence and “elements of criminality”, including the attack on security forces.


There have been reportedly at least 16 shooting incidents targeting police officers and soldiers in Eswatini since the year began.

In the latest incident, which took place on October 18, two traffic police officers were killed while manning a roadblock in a residential area. The assassins made away with the officers’ rifles. 

In their November 2 statement, CJPC officials in the nation previously known as Swaziland say the shooting of security personnel “will not give us any solution but rather it will create a long term enmity amongst citizens.”

“Therefore, we condemn all that which constitutes a violation of human integrity and everything that offends dignity,” they say.

CJPC officials call on the government of Africa’s only absolute monarch to expedite the process of dialogue.

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“We appeal to the government to speed up the process. Hopefully an all-inclusive and meaningful dialogue will provide solutions in the ongoing political turmoil,” officials of the Catholic entity say. 

They express hope that after the nation holds a national dialogue, there will be “a system that will promote the common good, protect individual rights, accountability and it will allow the majority of the citizens to participate in the issues that touch all the spheres of their lives.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.