Pro-democracy groups calls for Prince Lonkhonkhela’s removal at SNPF



BY : ZWELI MARTIN DLAMINI

JOHANNESBURG :Pro-democracy groups are calling for the immediate removal of King Mswati’s brother Prince Lonkhonkhela as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Swaziland National Provident Fund(SNPF)accusing him of being a conduit pipe for the King to loot public funds within the organization.

This comes shortly after revelation of similar nature within the Public Service Pension Fund(PSPF) that saw Cabinet stopping a high level investigation by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority(FSRA). The Prince took up the post of CEO at the entity in 1997 meaning he has been in the administration of the SNPF for almost 21 years now. Lucky Lukhele, the Spokesperson of the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SNN) said it was surprising that for a long time now, the CEO post has been held by the Prince as if there were no capable Swazis to lead the SNPF. The SNN Spokesperson was speaking to this Swaziland News publication in an interview after allegations emerged that royalty was allegedly looting the SNPF and the Public Service Pension Fund (SNPF).

“The employment of staff to that organization must be conducted by independent bodies or the Board of Directors, it cant be liphakelo (appointment) as things appears to be now that Prince Lonkhonkhela is the only one seen to be capable of leading the SNPF. The corruption emerged from the fact that he has been the CEO for many years, you cant have a royal family member who benefits from the royalty to come and run the only savings of the ordinary people of Swaziland. What we demand is that the CEO must be employed by a competent body, be open to the public with the successful candidate given a contract of five years to be renewable based on performance” he said.

Lukhele said Swaziland now Kingdom of eSwatini had enough human resource to run the organization. He said as the situation stands, it was extremely hard for Swazis to get their savings with the SNPF yet the money is allegedly being looted by royalty through Prince Lonkhonkhela. “ When a person retires, the expectation is that the money should be released immediately to enable that individual to start something that will put food on the table but what is happen now, those pensioners are deliberately thrown into the deep end of poverty and we blame the King and his brother Lonkhonkhelo” he said. Prince Lonkhonkhela could not be reached for comments, as he did not answer his mobile phone.

The Swaziland Solidarity Network (SNN) is an organization that was established to intensity the calls for democracy and respect for human rights in Swaziland; it represents People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), the Ngwane National Liberation Congress among others. The organizations works with other international organizations like African National Congress (ANC), the Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU) among others.

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