MBABANE: Political parties and trade unions leaders in eSwatini has warned that citizens risk dying due to hunger and the escalating COVID-19 while King Mswati secretly keeps billions of cash and assets that could be sold to mitigate the situation.
This comes after the Times of Eswatini reported on Wednesday that two royal aides Zandile Malinga and Zokulunga Simelane were arrested for allegedly stealing jewellery worth R800,000.00 at Nkoyoyo Palace. They appeared at the Mbabane Magistrate Court on Tuesday facing charges of theft and were advised by the court to move a bail application at the High Court.
Mbongwa Dlamini, the President of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers(SNAT) said it was clear that assets worth billions of Emalangeni were secretly hidden within the various Palaces at the time when the people were desperately in need of food and COVID-19 protective clothing.
“It is shocking that while eMaswati are dying of hunger and the COVID-19, such expensive jewellery is kept in a house. Perhaps, they can tell us what value this jewellery is adding to the lives of the poeplenbecause as the situation stands, people are dying. Why are we not selling it to feed the Nation and buy PPEs?” said the SNAT President.
Lucky Lukhele, the Spokesperson of the Swaziland Solidarity Network(SSN) said the disclosure regarding the alleged theft of jewellery worth close to R1 million should be an eye opener to eMaswati.
“This must show the Swazi people that there’s lot of money in Swaziland if in just one Palace it can be reported that jewellery amounting to R800,000.00 owned by Queen LaMbikiza and her children was stolen, then it tells you the jewellery owned by the King in the entire Palace amounts to billions. So, as much as we condemn criminality, we know that some of these maids are underpaid and they see this abuse of resources and display of it in an arrogant manner by the King,wives and Emazinyane. We demand that these royal maids must start taking these jewellery all over the Palaces and give it back to the people. We feel that these assets should be auctioned and the money be used to help the people of Swaziland in developing the health sector” said the SSN Spokesperson.