Behaviour That’ll Land You in Trouble in Manzini City
The Municipal Council of Manzini has as one of its key strategic objectives the maintenance and improvement of public order, safety and security. The objective arises from the Municipality’s mandate to ensure citizens enjoy a good quality of life whilst living or carrying out business in the geographic hub of the Kingdom of Eswatini. This article seeks to highlight some of the forbidden citizen behavior in the City of Manzini; which, when committed, may land the offender in trouble. By public nuisance, the Municipality refers to an act or omission that obstructs, damages, or inconveniences the rights of the community. Illegal trading activities also draw the ire of the Municipality. By illegal trading the Municipality refers to trading without a Council permit, trading in an undesignated space and selling wares that are not recognized by the issued trading permit.
- Public drinking
The City of Manzini regards public drinking of alcoholic beverages as a serious offence. Citizens and visitors are required to make use of the establishments that are available for consumption of alcoholic beverages. Alternatively, they are expected to carry these beverages home. Anyone found in a drunken stupor or drinking alcohol beverages in the city streets risks arrest and being made to pay a fine not less than E60.
- Urinating in public
Urinating in public is an offence in the City of Manzini. Anyone found urinating in public gets arrested and made to pay a fine not less than E60. The city has a number of public toilets at members of the public’s disposal. Citizens are urged to make use of them.
- Plaiting in recreational parks
Plaiting in the city’s recreational parks is forbidden. In the event that anyone is caught they get to be arrested and the material confiscated. Some members of the public enjoy meals whilst relaxing at the recreational parks hence waste hair poses a health risk. A minimum of E60 is applicable against plaiting. Those who wish to engage in this activity are encouraged to make use of the available hair dressing salons or do it at home.
- Canoodling forbidden
Canoodling in the form of public kissing or fondling is not permitted in the City of Manzini. When caught, offenders get into trouble with the law and they can be made to pay a minimum of E60.
- Street fighting prohibited
Fighting or quarreling on the streets of Manzini city is prohibited. Anyone caught engaged in a street fight gets to be arrested and made to pay a fine not less than E60. Anyone who spots people fighting on the streets is encouraged to alert the nearest Kwekwe Security Ranger or the Royal Eswatini Police Service.
- Trading without Council permit
It is an offence to carryout trade activities in the city without first acquiring a permit from the Municipal Council of Manzini. Whenever the Municipality’s security services come across a person trading without a valid permit they get arrested and their wares confiscated. A fine not less than E60 is required before confiscated goods can be released to the owners. If not claimed, the goods are destroyed through the Municipality’s incinerator.
- Illegal motor mechanics
The Municipality sets specific standards for operation of a motor mechanic business. The Town Planning Scheme also allocates specific zones in the city for such business activities. Therefore, the illegal motor mechanics (popularly referred to as bush mechanics) that usually set up makeshift motor garages near spares shops and other open spaces do so illegally. When caught, these get arrested and made to pay a fine ranging from E60 to E200. The customer is not spared as they are also made to pay a fine.
- Trading in undesignated space
Trading permits that are issued by the Municipal Council of Manzini are site specific. It, therefore, becomes an offence when the trader moves trading sites as they please. The Municipality’s security services, amongst others, guard against such misconduct and anyone caught is required to pay a fine not less than E60. Permit-holding informal traders are, therefore, reminded to trade on the sites that are specified by their permits. They are also reminded that it is an offence to trade in goods other than the ones for which the permit was granted. For example, a person who holds a mobile money permit cannot be expected to be found selling sweets at their stall, unless the permit recognizes the additional goods.
Littering remains an offence in the City of Manzini. Anyone caught is fined a minimum spot fine of E50. The fines depend on the magnitude of the littering committed and can go up to E100,000 or two years imprisonment or both. Citizens are urged to make use of the available litter bins. Non-availability of litter receptacles in some parts of the city does not warrant littering. Instead, whilst the Municipality is making an effort to provide additional litter bins, citizens are urged to carry the trash to the nearest litter receptacle. Business establishments and public transport operators are also required to provide litter receptacles for their customers.
COVID-19: LET’S CONTINUE THE FIGHT
The Municipal Council of Manzini encourages citizens of the city to continue the fight against the global Covid-19 pandemic. Let us all commit to flattening the curve and ensure health and safety of all citizens. Citizens are urged to continue adhering to the following preventative measures as advised by the World Health Organisation;
- Always wear a face mask and do so properly. Don’t bring it under your mouth when talking.
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash them with soap and running water. This will help kill viruses that may be on your hands.
- Maintain at least 1.5 metre distance between yourself and others. When someone coughs, sneezes or speaks they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close you can breathe in the droplets, including the Covid-19 virus, if the person has the disease.
- Avoid going to crowded places. Where people come together in crowds, you are more likely to come into close contact with someone that has Covid-19 and it is more difficult to maintain physical distance of 1.5 metre in a crowd situation.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and infect you.
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately and wash your hands. Droplets spread the virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and Covid-19.
Stay home and self-isolate even with minor symptoms such as cough, headache, mild fever, until you recover. Avoiding contact with others will protect them from possible Covid-19 and other viruses.