Kareem Asraf,the Indonesian Consular was smart enough to use his financial muscle and obtain diplomatic status so that he can engage in money laundering and other corrupt activities without being searched or questioned.
Ashraf has been using his royal connections to grab tenders in government, he is now rich and part of the money is used to control and or influence political decisions in our country.
In 2015,I was one of the journalists who covered the King’s Garden Party at Buhleni Palace,businesspeople in the Hhohho region represented by the late B3 Director Dan Zikalala complained to Mswati about the Eswatini Revenue Authority(SRA).
Zikalala was speaking on behalf of all businesspeople in the Hhohho region including Kareem Ashraf, a diplomat who sometimes changes to be an Indonesian diplomat depending on his interests on that particular moment.
After reading the article in our newspaper, the then Swaziland Shopping, Kareem Ashraf called and blasted me,he demanded answers why his picture was in the newspaper.
I explained to him that the B3 Director stood and addressed the King at Buhleni Palace urging him to intervene and stop SRA from imposing heavy penalties on their businesses,he said he was speaking on behalf of all businesspeople in the Hhohho region.
Indeed,I told Ashraf that I was there sitting next to the B3 Director with the likes of African Alliance Partner Sthofeni Ginindza and then Central Bank Governor Majozi Sithole.
I saw Ashraf who was sitting in another table busy with his phone, he did not immediately exclude himself from the speech made by B3 Managing Director Dan Zikalala.
But Ashraf opted to bully me saying I must leave journalism and close the newspaper if I don’t know what to write, perhaps he wasn’t aware that I’m not easily intimidated.
The Indonesian Consular threatened to report me to the King if I continued to write about him, it was a very disturbing conversation from a mafia who enjoys diplomatic immunity.
Well,during the opening of Parliament on Friday,I was not surprised to see Kareem Asharaf shaking hands with Mswati, this is a corrupt diplomat who steals our resources using both diplomatic immunity and royal connections.
It is true that he was sensitive to be seen in the newspapers challenging Mswati’s cashcow, the SRA because doing so, could have angered the King and derail his relationship with the Monarch.
It should be noted that these days, Ashraf is busy looting more resources through tenders,he has been a supplier of police and army uniform for years,he supplies weapons to the army.
Kareem Ashraf is lucky that he is not the media’s special focus despite the damage he is doing in this country.
But then, it’s just a matter of time, all his corrupt activities would soon be in the open.
Ashraf must report me to the King as soon as possible but the truth is; Mswati will not assist him with anything.
Citizens are struggling in this country and corrupt businessmen like Ashraf,who sometimes,changes like a chameleon to a diplomat,loot our resources.
Indonesian Consular Kareem Ashraf with King Mswati(pic: Gov).