MBABANE: Deputy Prime Minister Senator Themba Masuku and his wife pocketed about Two hundred Thousand Emalangeni(R200,000.00) from public funds as allowances just for one international trip to Geneva, Switzerland.
This is contained in a bundle of documentary evidence obtained by this Swaziland News Investigation Unit that further substantiates how taxpayers paid for an air ticket amounting to E48,723.00 for the DPM’s wife to enjoy herself with her husband at a luxurious hotel in Switzerland.
The documents were intercepted by this publication through the chain of communication and payment processes that went through the Ministry of Finance.
It has been disclosed that the DPM left the country last week to attend a United Nations Dialogue on the Rights of Children, he subsequently presented a report where he told the UN that eSwatini Government prioritized the welfare of children.
“Presenting that report, Themba Nhlanganiso Masuku, the Deputy Prime Minister of Eswatini and head of the delegation, noted that children made up almost half of the country’s population, adding that their education, social protection and health was a priority for the Government”, read a statement and or a report dated 15th September 2021 and published on the UN Geneva website.
A separate investigation by this publication uncovered that apart from his wife, the DPM left the country with four(4) police officers from his security team, they are expected to return after eight(8) days.
But it appeared that after pocketing the about E200,000.00 of taxpayers money, the Deputy Prime Minister submitted a false report misleading the United Nations that government was taking care of children in eSwatini.
Reached for comments, Mbongwa Dlamini, the President of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers(SNAT) said it was surprising that the DPM can take such a huge amount of money from public coffers just to lie to the UN that children were taken care-off in this country.
“Firstly, children were shot by security forces during the recent protests and the DPM never issued any statement condemning that. Children are struggling at school because the government is failing to pay reasonable money for Free Primary Education, then the question is: If he says children are taken care-off in this country what is he talking about ? We will get an opportunity to give these international bodies the right information regarding the situation in this country”, said the SNAT President.
This disclosure and or documentary evidence exposing how the DPM ‘looted’ about E200,000.00 taxpayers money comes at the time when the government is struggling to pay decent salaries to civil servants including members of the security forces, purchase of COVID-19 vaccines, provide scholarships for University students and free education among others.
The documents in our possession further reveal that the Deputy Prime Minister received E96,000.00 as subsistence allowance, E9,600.00 for hospitality and E300.00 as a conference allowance. Furthermore, the DPM pocketed E6,000.00 as another subsistence allowance just for passing through South Africa for one day as part of his trip.
The total amount received by the DPM as stated in the documents is E111,900.00 while his wife received E72,723.00 and this means the Masuku family benefitted E184,623.00 from taxpayers money just for one international trip to Switzerland.
Evidence analyses of the documents suggests that government officials, the King including members of the royal family has been looting taxpayers money through allowances amounting to millions of Emalangeni.
A questionnaire was sent to the Deputy Prime Minister, however, he had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
Eswatini, a tiny Kingdom ruled by King Mswati as an absolute Monarch with about 70% of the population living below the poverty line, a majority of the citizens struggle to afford a decent meal.
Speaking to this publication on the subject matter, Wandile Dludlu, the Secretary General of the People’s United Democratic Movement(PUDEMO)said the DPM remained one of the richest politicians in the country after being appointed into various positions but continued to steal money from the people.
“It’s another serious issue that he went there to lie about the country taking care of children, the DPM is one of the richest politicians in the country after being appointed into various positions over the years, but he continues to steal money from the people. Why did he took so much from public coffers just to take an international trip to mislead the UN? This means the DPM will receive such amount including his salary for this month while his wife will pocket money equivalent to a CEO’s salary for doing nothing. That’s how Tinkhundla has been producing and re-producing inequality, the rich are getting more money while the poor are struggling” said the PUDEMO Secretary General.
Deputy Prime Minister Senator Themba Masuku.