Public servants in Swaziland have been accused of using funds meant to alleviate poverty for themselves. More than E16 million (US$1.1 million) may have been misspent.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was told the money was meant for the Community Poverty Reduction Fund (CPRF) but more than 40 workers including teachers, police officers, soldiers and government officials had siphoned off funds for their own purposes.
The Swazi News reported on Saturday (17 June 2017), ‘even officials from the Ministry of Tinkhundla Administration and Development who were the custodians of the fund’, had ‘taken a piece of the pie’.
The fund was set up in 2010 and as soon as it was established each of them applied for loans, ‘and seven years later, a majority of them have not paid even a cent back’.
The newspaper reported, ‘Instead of starting business projects, some of the officers used the funds to pay for their children’s university fees in South Africa.’
Two thirds of the people in Swaziland continued to live below the poverty line, Amnesty International reported in February 2017. Around half the population said they often went without food and water, and over a third said that medical care was inadequate.
In Swaziland, nearly seven in 10 of the kingdom’s 1.3 million people have incomes of less than $US2 a day. Meanwhile, King Mswati III, who rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch lives a lavish lifestyle, with at least 13 palaces, fleets of top-of-the-range Mercedes Benz and BMW cars and at least one Rolls Royce. He has a private jet airplane and is soon to get a second.
NO LET UP IN SWAZI POVERTY
GOVT SELLS MAIZE DONATED FOR HUNGRY