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Friday, 21 January 2011

LUTFO: SWAZI MEDIA TALK IN RIDDLES

I wish the newspapers in Swaziland would stop talking in riddles about the Lutfo Dlamini corruption scandal.


Today (21 January 2011), it’s the turn of the Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper.


Its managing editor Mbongeni Mbingo writes about how the Swaziland Government Cabinet often talks about ‘collective responsibility’.


He then asks, ‘How does Cabinet reconcile this with what is happening with their colleague at foreign affairs?


‘We do not know as yet the extent of the problem that we are made to believe the minister has got to answer to, to his superiors, but I was just thinking that his colleagues would perhaps have taken the fall too.


‘But then again, perhaps this was a decision that did not involve Cabinet! Only time will tell, and the public waits, with bated breath.’


Indeed, if by the ‘public’ Mbingo means Times’ readers, they do indeed wait with baited breath to find out what’s going on. The rest of us know that Lutfo Dlamini, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Phesheya Dlamini, Swaziland Ambassador to Kuwait, were both sacked from their jobs last week because they are implicated in a corruption scandal involving missing millions of emalengeni that was intended for King Mswati III, King of Swaziland and the last absolute monarch in sub-Saharan Africa.


Yesterday, the Swazi Observer, the newspaper in effect owned and edited by King Mswati, dribbled on about Lutfo Dlamini being away from work ‘sick’ and his cabinet post being assigned temporarily to Clement Dlamini, the Agriculture Minister.


We expect this misleading reporting from the Observer, but the Times claims to be an ‘independent’ newspaper. Could the people at the Times show us that independence and tell their readers what is really going on. Please.

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