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Friday, 3 December 2010

MPs ATTACK LAND-SCAM MINISTER

The Swaziland Parliament has debated a vote of no confidence against the Cabinet Minister who allowed the Prime Minister, his deputy, four members of the Swazi Royal Family and possibly nine present and former cabinet ministers to buy government land at knock-down prices.


Lindiwe Dlamini, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, was told she had no right to do this and the land should have been advertised for sale.


As I reported on Wednesday (1 December 2010), Barnabas Dlamini, the illegally-appointed Prime Minister, will personally benefit to the tune of E304,000 (about 43,000 US dollars). The members of the Royal Family and other cabinet ministers (past and present) got their land at discounts on the true value of between 30 percent and 50 percent.


This obvious example of greed and cronyism has angered members of the Swaziland Parliament.


The Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper, reported that Mafutseni MP, Joseph Madonsela, told Parliament the people who were supposed to lead by example were involved in this matter.


‘Are they serving the interests of the country or just enriching themselves?,’ he said.


Gege MP, Musa Kunene, said the deal had an element of corruption even though Cabinet always preached against it.


Lobamba Lomdzala MP Marwick Khumalo said Cabinet had lost the moral authority to govern.

He said it was clear that the ministers had given each other land will-nilly.


Lindiwe Dlamini said she had not advertised the plots because in previous cases when plots were advertised in other towns as many as 1,000 people would apply, even though there were only 10 plots for sale. She said this time politicians who knew the law went to her to ask for discounts.


Parliament decided to set up a select committee to investigate the purchases. It would report in three weeks time and then a decision on further action would be taken.

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