The Swazi Observer, the newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati III, called it ‘callousness’ and a ‘dirty shame’.
Senior Royal, Prince Hlangusemphi, who is Minister for Economic Planning and Development is under attack after it was revealed that 11,498 metric tonnes of maize had been donated by Japan to feed the hungry, but had been sold through the National Maize Corporation.
The Observer, in an editorial comment, said today (13 March 2013) the Prince, ‘better have plausible answers when he responds to the issue of a maize donation that ended up in a government account, instead of the tummies of thousands of impoverished Swazis who needed it the most.
‘In fact, it is still hard to believe that government decided to sell the maize so it could swell up its dwindling coffers, doing this at the expense of multitudes that go to bed without anything to eat as a result of the dire straits they live in on a daily basis.’
In Swaziland, three people in ten are malnourished and rely on humanitarian food aid to survive.
The Observer went on to call the government’s action ‘callousness’. It said, ‘to let down its needy citizens is such a low down, dirty shame’.
The Observer said the decision to sell the maize rather than give it to the intended recipients, ‘simply qualifies the assertion held by a larger segment of the populace that this government just does not care about the plight of the people at grass root level’.
It said the government had been, ‘hoarding donor food in a bid to make a quick buck, which is then stashed at the Central Bank, as to for whose benefit, only they know’.
It added, ‘This then clearly shows how greedy they can be.’
GOVT SELLS MAIZE DONATED FOR HUNGRY