Swazi Observer - - NATIONAL NEWS - By Samkelisiwe Khoza Mba­bane

ABOUT 100 peo­ple have been mur­dered in the coun­try since Jan­uary un­til last month.

Ac­cord­ing to data col­lected from the Royal Eswa­tini Po­lice (REP) Ser­vices, there were 86 mur­der vic­tims be­tween the months of Jan­uary and Oc­to­ber, mean­ing 14 more peo­ple were mur­dered within a month.

Chief Po­lice In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Of­fi­cer, Su­per­in­ten­dent Phindile Vi­lakati said they had noted the rise of mur­der cases with great con­cern. Vi­lakati said it was dis­heart­en­ing that Eswa­tini had all along been clas­si­fied as a peace­ful coun­try but had now turned into a vi­o­lent one.

She said some of these mur­ders were caused by dis­agree­ments be­tween re­lated per­sons or in­ti­mate part­ners.

Vi­lakati said some sit­u­a­tions might be hard and in­fu­ri­at­ing to han­dle, but vi­o­lence is not the way deal with it.

She pleaded with those who are hurt not to re­sort to vi­o­lence but rather make use of avail­able struc­tures that deal with such mat­ters which in­clude po­lice sta­tions, churches, non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions (NGOs), psy­cho-ther­a­pists and gov­ern­ment hospi­tals.

“Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is a ther­apy on its own. Your prob­lems and your anger are noth­ing new in the world,” Vi­lakati said.

Mean­while, the Co­or­di­nat­ing As­sem­bly of Non-Gov­ern­men­tal Or­gan­i­sa­tions (CANGO) Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Of­fi­cer Nkosingiphile Myeni said the es­ca­lat­ing rate of grue­some killings called for a multi-sec­toral na­tional strat­egy to pre­vent vi­o­lence, in­clud­ing putting re­stric­tions to weapons such as fire-arms.

Myeni said the coun­try needs to treat vi­o­lence as a pub­lic health con­cern and use cam­paigns and tech­nol­ogy to reach ev­ery child and fam­ily across the coun­try.

“De­vel­op­ing tools to make sure that ev­ery­body feels im­por­tant and cared for through parenting in­ter­ven­tions, fam­ily in­ter­ven­tions, well­be­ing cam­paigns, and early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion can make an im­pact,” he said.

He said there were com­plex fac­tors that could lead one to take some­one else’s life or at­tempt to do so. How­ever, clar­i­fy­ing that no one was ob­li­gated to take an­other per­son’s life no mat­ter the rea­son be­hind.

“We call for pro­tec­tive mea­sures whereby there are early signs’ de­tec­tions and men­tal dis­or­der treat­ment, pro­vi­sion of in­for­ma­tion to ac­cess to psy­cho-so­cial sup­port, and school-based pre­ven­tions as well as other in­sti­tu­tions,” he said.

Mean­while, In­ter­na­tional Men­tal Health Re­source Ser­vices (IMERSE) Pro­gramme Direc­tor Dum­sani Mamba said vi­o­lent be­hav­iour could be linked to men­tal health, whether the per­pe­tra­tor was men­tally dis­turbed or they were on the re­ceiv­ing end of me­tal dis­tor­tion from some­one else’s be­hav­iour to­wards them.

He ad­vised that peo­ple should seek help when they are con­fronted with is­sues that they feel are too much for them to han­dle and not at any point should an act of vi­o­lence be a res­o­lu­tion to any prob­lem that one is faced with.

Myeni said an in­di­vid­ual might feel pushed to a cor­ner by a num­ber of prob­lems lead­ing to de­pres­sion, such as the feel­ing of un­shared pain and hope­less­ness that can ei­ther be so­cial, eco­nomic or po­lit­i­cal.

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