MBABANE: Sibongile Mazibuko, the President of the Ngwane National Liberation Congress(NNLC) has urged royalty to utilise the Umhlanga Reed Ceremony budget in mitigating the COVID-19 crisis.
This comes after King Mswati, through Imbali leader Nonduduzo Zubuko announced that the cultural ceremony of young girls has been cancelled due to the escalating COVID-19 crisis.
\"Because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the King has commanded that there will be no reed dance at both Ludzidzini and Mbangweni Royal Residences this year. His Majesty the King said there will be other means through which the reed will be brought to the Royal residences,” said the Imbali Leader.
But Sibongile Mazibuko, the NNLC President when speaking to this Swaziland News on Tuesday warned that the funds meant for the ceremony might be looted by royalty.
“We are all aware that the budget for the King\'s birthday, a one day ceremony is around E100 million then the budget for Umhlanga which is a weeklong ceremony might range between E 400- 500 million. We would like to know what will happen to such a large amount of money. Chances are that it will disappear into thin air just like the King\'s birthday\'s budget and the over E 500 million, donations for COVID-19 that never reached the people\", said the NNLC President.
The People\'s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) Secretary General Wandile Dludlu when reached for comments said whatever the King is doing, he is doing it for his own benefit not for the nation.
“The Umhlanga Ceremony never benefited the nation in the first place. It always benefited royalty and a few capitalists that saw business opportunities in this event. Here we should be focusing on how those kids languishing at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic are having quality access to education so we can be able to fight poverty\" said the Secretary General.
Umhlanga Reed Dance