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Mbabane City taken over by criminals- US


MBABANE has become a critical-threat location for crimes of residential burglary and petty theft.

MBABANE has become a critical-threat location for crimes of residential burglary and petty theft. 

In a report published on May 8, 2017, the United States assessed Swaziland's capital city as a 'critical-threat location' for crime. 

These crimes include residential burglary and petty theft which are most commonly reported crimes, with street robberies being the most prevalent. 


“They occur at all locations regardless of the time. Criminals are generally interested in cell phones and cash,” reads part of the document. 

The report called ‘Swaziland 2017 Crime & Safety Report’ from the Unites States State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security is published annually. 

It was updated on May 8, 2017.

According to the report, street robberies are prevalent and happen at all times of the day. 

Criminals usually brandish knives or machetes. 

Swaziland experiences violent deaths on a frequent basis. 

“Some of the murders have been particularly gruesome,” states the report.

Rapes occur 'frequently'. On crime threats, the report stated, that general crime rate is above the US national average. 


“Although criminals consider Mbabane and Manzini prime grounds for operation due to the number of people, businesses, and affluent areas, the rate of crime reported in small towns and rural areas increased in 2016. 

There are some local crime gangs but no organised crime.”

The report states that congested urban areas are particularly dangerous at night; and occasional daytime larceny has been reported. 

The report added, criminals usually brandished edged weapons (knife, machete) and occasionally firearms and will resort to deadly force if victims resist. 

The general modus operandi of robbers is to target residences or businesses that have little or no security measures in place. They will use force if necessary but rely on the threat of force to commit the act.


“While the number of murders per capita remains lower than some African countries, Swaziland experiences violent deaths on a frequent basis. Some of the murders have been particularly gruesome. Victims have been found decapitated, and body parts  mutilated or removed. Some are a result of disputes among criminal groups. Rapes occur frequently and tend to be perpetuated on isolated or desolate urban and rural areas or roads,” states the report.


The response time of Swazi police to incidents is described as, “slow, if at all, unless the police are in the general area where the incident occurrs.  Police consider a 30-minute response time adequate, even in urban areas. Police are generally willing to assist but often lack transportation and resources to properly respond to, or investigate, crimes.”

When sought for comment Deputy Police Information and Communications Officer Assistant Superintendent Phindile Vilakati said they could not disagree nor agree with the report at the time until accurate figures have been produced or  have been seen. 

“We need to see the report that the US used to come to this conclusion,” he said. 

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