The arrogance of Barnabas Dlamini, Swaziland’s illegally-appointed Prime Minister knows no bounds. He says he acted legally over a land-scam in the kingdom, even though a parliament select committee set up to investigate him has yet to conclude its work.
Dlamini, along with his deputy, four members of the Swazi Royal Family, at least nine cabinet ministers (past and present) and a gaggle of petty council officials, are embroiled in a controversy over the purchase of Swazi nation land in Mbabane, the Swazi capital. Dlamini got his land at half the real market value and saved himself E304,000 (US$43,000) in the process.
The others got discounts of between 30 percent and 50 percent.
Last week, it was revealed that the prime minister and his cronies had acted illegally because the discounts they claimed as their own were only meant for people on low incomes. There is also considerable evidence that Lindiwe Dlamini, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, acted against the law when she allowed the deal to go ahead, without even advertising that the land was available for purchase.
But Dlamini, who was handpicked for his job at the head of government by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, feels he doesn’t have to wait for the verdict of a legitimately constituted parliamentary committee.
He arrogantly told a meeting of the Federation of Swaziland Employers and Chamber of Commerce, ‘We bought the land in Mbabane legally along with other ministers who also purchased it.’
By doing so he was sending a clear message to members of the select committee on how they should decide. Dlamini, who has no regard for the rule of law, will expect it to clear him.
Committee members will also know that Dlamini has a long record of bullying his parliamentary colleagues (see, for example, how he refused to let a legitimate debate into the awarding of contracts from government take place in parliament and how he set himself up as a dictator above the Swazi Parliament.)
Now, he is letting the committee members know what he expects them to report - and take note that unless they want a good kicking too, they will do as he tells them.
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