On April Fool’s Day, the country’s editors met the Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini for what was supposed to be the usual monthly breakfast meeting. Two things disappointed me. The first was what I understood to be a threat by the prime minister towards this publication. The other was our attitude as journalists, government officials and cabinet ministers towards how the prime minister has chosen to approach this country’s financial and political problems.
It has been said before. It will be said again. The Tinkhundla system of governance has failed. The time has come when the people of Swaziland must start talking a new political order in this country. This is a system that has collapsed on its own through its own nefarious deeds by its acolytes. This month, the pressure for change continues.
Our Columnist Dr. Sikelela Dlamini has come under fire for suggesting that Ndumiso Mamba’s resignation as Minister for Justice & Constitutional Affairs had nothing to do with his public duties. NHLANGANISO DLAMINI of Lobamba hits back and argues that Mamba’s fall from grace had a huge public interest attached to it and nothing to do with victimization. He slams at Dr. Dlamini for even suggesting that the fallen minister’s private shenanigans should not have forced him to dispose himself from public service.
In many countries, public officials as Mamba was, are expected to adhere to high moral codes in all aspects of their lives. Even in Western democracies, voters often hold elected politicians to high moral standards. Lonhlambiso Shongwe from the capital also takes issue with our columists view on penis-wielding politicians.
Right at a time when the government is cutting salaries for civil servants, Majozi Sithole, the Minister for Finance has added a whooping E40m into the monarch’s annual budget in what is clearly a bid to set the people against His Majesty King Mswati III. For the royal family, it will be business as usual as ordinary Swazis are told to live in a business unusual environment. Added to this is a shocking increase in the budget to run the army’s office, a clear indication that our government wants to ensure that the military is on the alert and ready to take action against any insurgency.
The Coroner, Nondumiso Simelane, finally released her report into investigations surrounding the death of political activist, Sipho Jele. It is a disgraceful work of judicial inquiry that should leave any self-respecting Swazi ashamed. Simelane must be the most incompetent judicial officer this country has ever seen. She thinks Jele was Spiderman who walked up a wall to hang himself.
At the opening of the High Court early this year, the deputy attorney general spoke strongly about lawyers who do not submit audited certificates to the attorney general’s office as prescribed by law. This means that clients’ money, held by many law firms is not safe. It is this failure to submit these audited statements hat gave space for Bheki Simelane to plunder his clients’ money at will.
Lawyers in this country are supposed to contribute money to a fidelity fund, a form of insurance which is supposed to protect their clients from fraud and theft of funds. The Law Society of Swaziland and the Attorney General have ignored the law that requires this. A recent case where a top lawyer was sent to jail for stealing clients’ money has reminded all of the need to get the fund working.
Limkokwing University in Mbabane has hit Swaziland with a bang. The university claims to offer the best of what the local University of Swaziland does not have. Government has committed itself to sponsor the majority of students who will study at the university when it opens. However, the university does not have a good record in Africa. Originally a Malaysian university, it has caused much anxiety in Botswana and Lesotho where students have complained that the lecturers there are actually not qualified to teach in universities.
In a depressed economy such as ours, the Swaziland Revenue Authority has become the most important vehicle to government for raising money. King Mswati III is also excited about SRA, as he has indicated in his speeches. The authority was officially launched last month.
Joe is very unsettled. He is making plans to leave the country for South Africa, where he hopes to put his skills as a handy man to good use. You see, Joe is a qualified accountant but he works as a plumber cum carpenter cum electrician....
The Nation - March 2011
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CONTRIBUTORS Dr Sikelela Dlamini Alfred Dlamini Aphelele Maseko Sikelela Hlatshwayo
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