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Sunday, 3 October 2010

SWAZI PM SCAM: ‘HEADS MUST ROLL’

‘Heads must roll’ after Barnabas Dlamini, the illegally-appointed Prime Minister of Swaziland, fell for an easily identifiable scam.

That’s the verdict of the Swaziland Coalition of Concerned Civic Organisations (SCCCO) after Dlamini and a group of his supporters had flown to the Bahamas to receive a medal for his record on human rights. The Swazi Government said Dlamini was to be honoured because he was a ‘highly respected global figure, whose role in history has been significant’.

It was revealed on Friday (1 October 2010) that the World Citizen Awards, the organisation behind the medal, was ‘little more than a Florida phone number and website’.


The whole thing was a scam. But the Swazi people have yet to find out how much in hard cash Dlamini and his supporters have paid to the con artists.


Musa Hlophe, the Coalition’s Co-ordinator said, ‘This is a gross abuse of our taxes. The country is facing an economic crisis, our foreign reserves are pitifully low and we see the Prime Minister spending them lavishly just to feed his vanity

.

‘It is incredible that he thought he could be eligible for a Human Rights Award, it is even more incredible that he took an entourage with him to the Bahamas to watch him receive it.’


He added, ‘If the award was genuine it would still be a gross waste of money at this time. The fact that it is an easily identifiable fraud calls into question the judgement of this man and his officers.


‘We demand that a full inquiry be set up so that we get to know how this scandal arose, how much government money has been spent on this exercise and who was responsible for investigating, recommending and authorising the acceptance.


‘We also demand that the Prime Minister and his advisors are personally held responsible and pay every cent of our money that they have squandered back. Heads must roll.’


SCCCO said in a statement it was ‘not at all surprised, that the award for Dlamini was ‘a complete hoax.


‘In his short time in power The PM and his government have earned severely negative human rights reports from the International Labour Organisation, Amnesty International, Freedom House, Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa, International Bar Association, Frontline Defenders, Human Rights Observatory, United States Government and the European Union.


‘So any award praising his efforts to promote human rights that came at the same time that he was advocating torture for dissidents must surely have come as something of a surprise to him and should have set alarm bells ringing everywhere. We now find out that the award has absolutely no merit.


‘It seems that the President of the World Citizens Award is someone who has bestowed on himself the title of His Excellency Dr. R. K. LaRoda-King but is actually nothing but a common fraudster who is wanted in the United States for offences totalling more than 20 Million Emalangeni. The Awards website lists a number of distinguished human rights defenders as judges, yet it turns out that their names have been used without their knowledge or permission. Its phone numbers are bogus and cannot be called.


‘The Coalition and many others uncovered these facts in an afternoon. What was the Swazi government thinking about?’

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