Just in time to curb festive season crime, Ezulwini municipality residents, businesses, and stakeholders have been capacitated on safety, security, and cybercrime through a Security Symposium on December 11, 2023.

The first-of-its-kind symposium was hosted at Royal Villas and featured insightful presentations from key security, cybercrime, and safety stakeholders.

The presenters included the United States Embassy, Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS), Eswatini National Fire and Emergency Services, Eswatini Communications Commission (ESCCOM), Eswatini Bankers Association (EBA) and Eswatini Royal Insurance Corporation (ESRIC). Also set up at the venue were various security, cybersecurity, and banking-related stalls, including security companies and banks.

The event is part of the Council’s Strategic Plan, which aims to make Ezulwini a crime-free town. Part of the efforts towards that was that in 2021, an armed response unit was introduced.

Deputy Mayor and Ward 4 Councilor Comfort Hlophe made opening remarks on behalf of Mayor Bongile Mbingo.

“This wonderfully hosted event is part of an important chapter in making Ezulwini a safe, vibrant, and environmentally friendly town. We believe that we will achieve that through strengthening partnerships with law enforcement agencies and developing innovative crime-fighting strategies,” he said.

Town Clerk Mathokoza Shongwe outlined the objectives of the symposium. “This symposium is meant to create awareness on commissions of crime and different types of crime. Our second objective is to create awareness of various ways of preventing and mitigating crime. Our last and most important objective is building a safe community,” he said.

Shongwe said through fighting crime they would be able to posture a community ripe enough for investors to come into.

One of the presentations by the US Embassy highlighted Best Practices on personal security, driver security, residential/compound security and general preparedness.

The presentations were by Assistant Regional Security Officer Nathaniel Bray and Security Investigator Titus Motsa.

Bray advised the residents to try by all means not to be easy targets to criminals, and to do so, they needed to be more aware of their movements and surroundings. Motsa noted that when approached by criminals for assets like a vehicle, they must not fight them as assets were replaceable, yet life was not and in any case, an investigation could recover a car.

“We also advise residents not to walk or jog alone. You must also not keep your valuable items visible in your car. Also, avoid visiting empty eateries at night,” he said among the many tips he shared on the day.

Meanwhile, the Eswatini Bankers Association (EBA) collaborated with MTN Fintech and spoke to cybercrime and Mobile Money (MoMo) Fraud. Making the event interactive was also a panel discussion in which many of those present got to ask each of the presenters and service provider’s questions. Some also commented that they offered solutions to ward problems, like Muzi Masuku, who proposed that the council engage the private sector to support the fight against crime.

Present at the event included residents, ratepayers, business owners, and stakeholders. Councillors also present were Councillor Hlophe, Darron Raw, Jabulani Mathonsi, and Zodwa Dlamini.

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