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Provident Fund CEO Prince Lonkhonkhela fails to secure contract extension with the King, Board Chairperson Mduduzi Gina confirms commencement of a recruitment process.

Monday, 7th August, 2023

MBABANE: Prince Lonkhonkhela's efforts to convince King Mswati to influence the extension of his contract of employment as Eswatini National Provident Fund(ENPF) Chief Executive Officer(CEO) were unsuccessful.

As a result, the Prince is highly expected to vacate office in the next five(5) months.

The current two(2)-year contract of the CEO who was recently exposed by this publication for allegedly looting funds at Tisuka TakaNgwane where he is the Board Chairman, will expire in January 2024.

King Mswati has been maintaining a decision to reject contract renewals requests by public servants who approach him, seeking his influence to extend their term of employment.

As result, over ten(10) retired public servants who attempted to approach the King in the last three(3) months for contract renewals, are sitting at home, enjoying retirement with their children and grandchildren.

A questionnaire was sent to the Provident Fund CEO, however, he had not responded at the time of compiling this report.

Reached for comments by this Swaziland News, King Mswati’s Spokesperson Percy Simelane said, he was not aware that the Prince made efforts to convince the King to influence his contract extension.

But Simelane clarified that, the matter must be handled by the relevant authorities in the Government Administration outside the influence of the institution of the Monarchy.

“We are not aware that there were efforts to convince the King to influence his contract extension and that they were unsuccessful.What we are alive to is that the Monarch expects the authorities in the Administration of Government and quasi- Government institutions to deal with contract extensions within platforms where they are supposed to be ironed out and not to offices which do not have jurisdiction to handle them”, said the King’s Spokesperson.

But royal insiders told this Swaziland News that, Prince Lonkhokhela has been making efforts to secure another contract by attempting to meet the King.

Subsequently, Labour Minister Phila Buthelezi was allegedly mandated to ensure the smooth recruitment of a new CEO at the Provident Fund.

According to insiders, the King analyzed the political situation and realized that most young people who then rebel against the State, were frustrated with no jobs as retired individuals continue to seek contract renewals.

“He made efforts to meet the King with an intention to have his contract renewed again but his efforts were unsuccessful”, said the royal insider.

But a Board member within the Provident Fund told this Swaziland News that,  Labour Minister recently told them that a letter must be written to the CEO, informing him that the contract won’t be renewed.

The Board member further alleged that the Minister said, the decision was taken by Cabinet.

“The recruitment process has began, the Minister told us to write a letter and inform the Prince that his contract won’t be renewed.But when we read the contract, it transpired that there were certain provisions that might complicate the matter. So, we are now relying on the law suggesting that, we must inform the CEO at least one-month before the expiry of the current contract hence, the process is going on smoothly.The recruitment of the new CEO must be completed by September”, said the Board member whose name cannot be revealed for ethical reasons.

Efforts to reach the Labour Minister proved unsuccessful at the time of compiling this report.

Responding to a questionnaire from this Swaziland News, Mduduzi Gina, the Eswatini National Provident Fund(ENPF) Board Chairperson confirmed that, the contract of the Prince was coming to an end adding that,the recruitment of a new CEO has commenced.

“I do confirm that the contract of the current CEO of the Fund is coming to an end at the end of January 2024.The processes for the recruitment of a CEO are already ongoing”, said the Board Chairperson.

Provident Fund CEO Prince Lonkhonkhela fails to secure contract extension with the King, Board Chairperson Mduduzi Gina confirms commencement of a recruitment process.
Prince Lonkhokhela.