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Thursday, 29 October 2020

Inquiry into ex-Swaziland PM Barnabas Dlamini sex allegations dropped because he is dead

The Swaziland (eSwatini) House of Assembly will not investigate allegations that former Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini demanded sex for money from journalists when he was in office because he is now dead and cannot answer his accusers.

The decision was taken by a committee investigating corruption at the kingdom’s two state controlled radio and television stations.

The allegations that were widely reported in the media in the kingdom were that Dlamini demanded sex from female journalists during international trips. They would be paid between E100,000 and E200,000 (US$12,000) for spending nights with him.

Among allegations made to the committee was that a senior female manager would arrange women journalists to provide sexual favours for the prime minister.

Dlamini, a married man, was also accused of having a long-standing love affair with a staff member at the state radio.

The monies paid to the women were said to have come out of official funds, and ultimately paid for by the taxpayer.


Former Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini

The Swazi House of Assembly adopted a report of the select committee investigating serious allegations of corruption, nepotism and maladministration reported to be rampant at eSwatini Television and the eSwatini Broadcasting and Information Services (EBIS) directorate. It recommended senior executives be suspended while a major investigation took place.

The committee also decided not to investigate the allegations against the former Prime Minister.

Mduduzi Mabuza, the Hosea member of parliament, was one who opposed investigating Dlamini. He was reported saying, ‘I do not think it is right for us to openly talk about someone who is no longer among us, as this could happen to anyone of us once we are dead.’

Dlamini, who died in September 2018 aged 76, had been Prime Minister until the September 2018 national election. He was never elected by the people but appointed by King Mswati III, the kingdom’s absolute monarch. He held office for seven-and-a-half years until 2003. He was reappointed in 2008. He left behind a trail of misdeeds. In July 2017, Dlamini was made to return E200,000 in travel expenses he had claimed for a medical trip to Taiwan after it was revealed the Government of Taiwan had paid for it.

In 2010, Dlamini publicly threatened to use torture against dissidents and foreigners who campaigned for democracy in his kingdom. He said the use of ‘bastinado’, the flogging of the bare soles of the feet, was his preferred method.

See also

Former Swaziland PM Barnabas Dlamini demanded sex from journalists, official inquiry reports


Deceased Swaziland Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini had life embroiled in allegations of corruption


Swazi PM in another ‘nepotism’ row


Swaziland former Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini dies. Known as serial abuser of human rights



Wednesday, 28 October 2020

New screening project aims to improve diabetes care in Swaziland

A new research project has started in Swaziland (eSwatini) aimed at improving care for people with diabetes through strengthening eye and foot screening.

The Good Shepherd Hospital Eye Clinic (GSHEC) and Diabetes eSwatini with the support of the World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) are partnering in the project.

In a statement, the project said Swaziland faced a growing problem with diabetes and its complications that can cause blindness or affect the feet or kidneys.

At present there is no national diabetes registry or systematic screening in the kingdom. This means diabetic eye disease and foot ulcers are not attended to until the illness has taken hold.

The project called Improving Diabetic Quality Care Through Strengthening Retinopathy and Foot Screening will establish a pilot screening system.

Dr. Jonathan Pons, Head of GSHEC said,In the midst of a global pandemic, here at last is some relief for Africans living with diabetes.’

GSHEC provides comprehensive healthcare to more than 20,000 patients every year, including 1,000 cataract surgeries and 500 other eye-surgeries per year.

According to World Health Organisation figures for 2018 there were 739 deaths from diabetes. This was 6.14 percent of total deaths in the kingdom. The age adjusted Death Rate was 134.56 per 100,000 of population and this ranked Swaziland number four in the world.

See also

Swaziland town running out of burial space as health crisis intensifies


More deaths in Swaziland as govt fails to pay medicine suppliers

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Seven in ten Swaziland businesses defy govt. rules to help stop coronavirus spread

More than seven in ten businesses in Swaziland (eSwatini) have defied government regulations to combat the spread of coronavirus in the kingdom, a survey suggests.

The Southern African Research Foundation for Economic Development (SARFED) surveyed 50 businesses along the corridor linking Manzini, the main commercial city and Mbabane, the Swazi capital. It found only 15 maintained the coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations.

Swaziland went into a partial lockdown in March 2020 in an attempt to stop the spread of the pandemic. Schools were closed, travel bans were introduced and many businesses placed under restrictions.

In a commentary SARFED said businesses did not follow basic precautions such as sanitizing hands, wearing facemasks and maintaining social distancing.

SARFED Regional Coordinator Dr George Choongwa said, ‘As a civil society that promotes sustainable economic empowerment and development, we wish to encourage and warn businesses to always comply with the effort that government was doing in reinforcing health and safety measures for the continuity of the economy.

Firms should understand that at the centre of economic growth, compliance, especially in public, remains paramount.

Choongwa said, ‘These institutions must understand that taking safety and health precaution is part of their social responsibility.’

He added, ‘Protection against COVID-19 is a fundamental human right.’

In September 2020, a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report suggested the coronavirus crisis in Swaziland was having widespread damaging effects on unemployment and poverty and many jobs might not return.

The onset of coronavirus in March 2020 closed factories and other industries, including the service industry such as hotels and catering services. Workers were paid only for the days worked in March 2020, while the state of emergency declared on 17 March 2020 froze all economic activities in a range of sectors. The impact of these measures on people was immediate. The Ministry of Labour subsequently announced that 13 companies had laid off over 8,400 workers and the Minister announced (on 4 May 2020) that 8,429 would be paid salaries for April and May. The companies are mostly in the textile, hotels and catering sectors. They are part of 43 companies that have applied to lay off staff and requested an exemption from provident fund contributions to redirect the money to laid-off staff.  


See also

Swaziland coronavirus toll rises, economy in freefall, no end in sight, new review shows


Swaziland introduces new travel restrictions at borders as coronavirus crisis continues


Swaziland faces jobs and poverty crisis as coronavirus disruption continues