Out-going Elections Commission leaves behind close to R1million telephone bill


JOHANNESBURG: The out-going Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) will leave behind approximately R1million (about $75,000.00) telephone bill to be paid by taxpayers under the current economic challenges. This revelations of massive expenditure by the Commission comes at the time when government claims to be broke while offering civil servants 0.00% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), a decision that is threatening the economic and political stability of the country.

Documentary evidence in possession of this Swaziland News publication suggest that on or around 15 August 2018, Muzi Dlamini, the General Manager Finance within the Swaziland Post and Telecommunication Corporation (SPTC) wrote to Prince Gija, the Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) informing him about the bill that was calculated at R670, 830.05 until June 2018. This means the invoices of the current months being July and August 2018 are yet to be included in the bill that is fast accumulating to R1million. “The Corporation kindly requests you to confirm your indebtedness as at 30 June 2018 as reflected below. Please refer to your June statement for ease of reference Account number P0607274.Amount owing as at 30 June 2018 E R670, 830 .05” the GMF states in the letter.

Ncobile Magagula, the SPTC General Manager Communications declined to comment on the letter when asked by this publication. But Zwelithini Mndzebele, the Secretary General of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) said it was surprising that such huge expenditure comes at the time when government was refusing to approve the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) claiming there is no money. “It is unfortunate that on the one hand the same government that allows such reckless spending is offering her employees 0.00% in the current year following the same offer as in the previous year. It makes one wonder how such an expenditure can ne allowed to occur for the team that will inherit the office when we know the culprits” he said.

The SNAT Secretary General whose organization is currently fighting for Cost of Living Adjustment for its members said it would be advisable for government to recover the money from Chief Gija’s pocket as the head of the EBC. He said this would create precedent for other heads of departments to handle public office with great caution. “Let the government recover this from the head of the EBC Chief Gija. The punitive measures will also help other office bearers that we handle public office with great caution and care knowing that they would be consequences in the event of poor management” he said.

Chief Gija failed to respond to our questions sent to him and even several efforts to reach him proved unsuccessful. The entire Elections Commission is expected to vacate office this year after their Constitutional term of office expires. Its members include Prince Gija, the Chairman, Commissioners Ncumbi Maziya, Princess Nkosungumenzi and Pholile Dlamini among others.