The Swaziland Coalition of Concerned Civic Organisations (SCCCO) is demanding an apology from Prince Mangaliso-Logcogco, the chair of King Mswati III’s advisory council Liqoqo, following revelations that a US$5 billion deal to build a power station in the kingdom was a contrick.
In 2009, when the project involving Franken Mining was announced with great fanfare as a great coup for the king, SCCCO was among a small band that doubted the viability of the project.
For this, Bishop Meshack Mabuza, SCCCO Chairman, was branded a ‘Judas’ by Prince Mangaliso.
In a statement SCCCO now demands a retraction from the Prince.
Here is SCCCO’s statement in full.
COALITION DEMANDS RETRACTION FROM PRINCE MANGALISO FOR ‘JUDAS’ COMMENT
The Swaziland Coalition of Concerned Civic Organisations notes with relief that the proposed US$5 Billion Mine and Power Station project is now dead. It also notes that the reasons that the deal is dead was because it was simply a corrupt money laundering scheme that would never have brought a cent to the country.
In April 2009 when the project was announced, the Coalition took a little time to do some research and within a day knew that the project was never going to be viable. It compared how other African Leaders, especially President Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, had negotiated their deals with western businesses. It looked at the way that this project was put together and came to only one conclusion. It was ripe for corruption from the start and should not be touched.
The Coalition set out a series of 20 questions that were designed to test the ability of this project to benefit the Swazi Nation. For these questions Prince Mangaliso, called the Coalition and its Chairman Bishop Meshack Mabuza ‘Judas’ for betraying the Swazi Nation. The Coalition thinks that it would be appropriate for the Prince to acknowledge his misjudgment and publicly withdraw that remark.
The Coalition also questions the assertion that no money has been spent. Who paid for the tendering process that appeared in the ‘Engineering Times’ last year? Does Professor [Frans] Whelpton work for free? Who paid for his trip to Germany and Switzerland last year?
Bishop Meshack Mabuza, Chair of the Coalition said ‘The Coalition was called terrible names for asking the questions that nobody else asks and shining a light into some unwelcome places. This is what a healthy Civil Society is supposed do. Because we do not seek power or riches, we can ask questions of those who do. It turns out that when they are too arrogant to answer us, and childishly call us names, it is because we were right. Ordinary Swazis know what happens when deals are done in the dark. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The real Judases are those who are betraying the Swazi Nation for their own thirty pieces of silver.’