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HOME AFFAIRS:Swazis are victims of corruption, harassment from top to bottom.

Sunday, 29th May, 2022

Princess Tsandzile, the the Minister of Home Affairs once saved me from a corrupt female employee within the Ministry of Home Affairs who was systematically frustrating me so that I could bribe her just to sign my passport.

The passport had been used for years without being signed and at times,it was not reflecting in the immigration system within the border until officials advised me to visit the Ministry of Home Affairs to sort the problem.

Upon arrival at the Home Affairs Ministry,I demanded answers as to why my passport was not signed and why it was not reflecting in the immigration system yet I paid for the service.

Even though it was clear that the Home Affairs made a huge blunder by releasing a passport to a client without signing and loading it’s details in the immigration system, the woman shouted at me in front of members of the public within the offices.

She questioned why I was using an unsigned passport,subsequently, she threw the passport and it hit my face.

The woman was not even aware that she was harassing a journalist when I demanded that she must just sign the passport and do all the necessary loading with the system or else I would report the matter to her superiors.

With an arrogant attitude, she told me to go ahead and report her.

When I made a call to the then Home Affairs Minister Princess Tsandzile in front of her, she was shocked to hear the Minister answering the call.

“Unjani Zwemart, ngikusite ngani Mlangeni?”

I told the Minister that I was at the Home Affairs offices and a woman had just hit me with a passport on my face refusing to provide me with a service and the Minister said:

“Yenyukela letulu-ke Nkhosi ufike ufune PS, umchazele kutsi sewukhulume nami, kodvwa nami ngitamshayela nje nyalo ngi mtjele kutsi akugadze,utayisebenta lendzaba(meaning: Go upstairs and talk to the PS about the issue, tell him you have just spoken to me, he will handle the matter)”.

The woman was immediately summoned and the PS asked her if she was aware that the man she was harassing was a journalist and now the Ministry would be on the newspapers, she did not respond but started apologizing with a sad and sorry face.

Eventually,I was assisted and I called the Minister again, thanking her for using her influence to assist me, the Princess apologized on behalf of the Home Affairs employee.

Now, the question is:How many Swazis were denied services at the Home Affairs or made to pay bribes just because they were ordinary citizens without connections in this country?

At times, Swazis are made to wait outside the Home Affairs offices during rainy and sunny days just to receive services, they are made to struggle to get a mere passport, birth and death certificate despite being taxpayers.

The workers within that Ministry behave as if they are doing the public a favour to provide those services, others are forced to provide lunch to employees who receive a salary every month.

Corruption and oppression in this country is from top to the bottom and if I was not a highly connected journalist, the woman could have harassed me with impunity.

I met her again during a Smart Partnership meeting attended by the King at Mavuso Trade Centre where she was one of the Ushers.

When she saw me talking to high profile people including the then Army Commander Prince Sobantu,she greeted me with respect, a hypocrite who harassed members of the public at the Ministry of Home Affairs pretending to be respectful.

It is clear that even civil servants adopted a culture of respecting only those in the corridors of power and the highly connected.

This must come to an end, members of the public are taxpayers and deserve respect including access to services.

I decided to write this article on behalf of the ordinary Swazis who are made to pay bribes within the Ministry of Home Affairs, this must stop.

Swazis have a right to access these services and have Identity Documents(ID),Passports, birth certificates etc, the corruption and the harassment of citizens within that Ministry must stop.

HOME AFFAIRS:Swazis are victims of corruption, harassment from top to bottom.
Home Affairs Minister Princess Lindiwe.