MPs Pension Fund multi-million looting angers ex-legislators



BY : ZWELI MARTIN DLAMINI

MBABANE: Former MPs are now extremely worried about their money at the Members of Parliament and Designated Office Bearers Pension Fund (MOPADO) after media reports exposing how MP Marwick Khumalo and his Board ‘looted’ E12million in a highly corrupt transaction entered into with Victor Gamedze’s Madlenya Family Trust.

Khumalo, the Chairman of the Pension Fund allegedly contravened Section 27 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 2006, in that, in his capacity of the public body entered into a transaction with a family trust belonging to his late friend Victor Gamedze. Reached for comments by this publication, Khumalo wondered if it was crime for him that he was a friend to the late powerful businessman. “If you say Victor was my friend is that a crime Mlangeni? Should I conclude that he is still your enemy even in death and you still pursuing him?” said the long serving MP.

But a former Member of Parliament who spoke to this Swaziland News on condition of anonymity said the scandal shocked them and they were not sure how deep is the looting within their pension fund. The land scandal involving Marwick Khumalo comes after the late Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini used a similar strategy to loot about E7.5 million from the Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF) through his company Fusini Investments. The late PM’s company bought land in Mbabane from government for E93, 120.00 and sold it to PSPF for E7.5million. “The news of the E12million land deal are very shocking, this means the looting is deeper in our Pension Fund. How do you loot money for pensioners, people who no longer have a stable income? The King pledged to give us land for the construction of office blocks and we don’t understand why this transaction took place without our mandate,” said one former MP who requested to remain anonymous. But Marwick Khumalo, the Chairman of the Pension Fund, when asked to respond to further question said it was the Principal Officer who was better positioned to respond on this issue.

“The Pension Fund has an officer called the Principal Officer. I don’t deal on administrative issues. He will explain what you want to know, not me” he said. But a separate investigation conducted by this publication suggest that on or around the October 2017, businessman Victor Gamedze who was accompanied by Sakhile Ndzimandze, the Director of Swazi Auctioneers tried to sell the now controversial piece of land to MA Dlamini who is currently owning a complex opposed the Corner Plaza, however the deal never materialize. Sakhile Ndzimandze did not respond to questions sent to him regarding the matter.

Themba Msibi, the former Speaker in the House of Assembly said it would be unfortunate if public funds from the MPs Pension Fund were used to buy the land without a resolution from those who own the money.

“These are public funds particularly former MPs who are no longer having a stable income. When we receive our money recently, we discovered that E5000.00 was deducted and when we asked why, they said the fund was not doing well. Now, we are surprised that it is doing well when E12 million is needed to buy land that cost E500 000.00? There was suppose to be a resolution that allows the Board to buy the land and I don’t remember that happening” said the former Speaker.