Swazi MPs anti-corruption commission suspended

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JOHANNESBURG, March 22 (ANA) – Members of Parliament in Swaziland have suspended the budget of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), which falls under the Ministry for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, because they say the organisation is itself corrupt.

“A select committee to investigate alleged wrongdoings has blocked a budget of E13.1 million ($109,000) until a report is delivered,” reported Richard Rooney’s Swazimedia Blogspot.

Members of Parliament in the Swazi House of Assembly reported concern that despite the contract for the ACC Commissioner Thanda Mngwengwe ending in January he still seemed to be at work using a Mercedes Benz ML worth E1.2 million supplied by the ACC, plus a rented car.

Nkwene MP Sikhumbuzo Dlamini stated that a lot of corruption was happening within the ACC, adding that one department “did what they liked with taxpayers’ money”.

Furthermore, according to Dlamini, the corruption was happening under Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Edgar Hillary’s watchful gaze.

However, according to the Observer on Saturday newspaper, Mngwengwe’s contract was still under consideration by the relevant authorities.

In December 2017, the ACC issued a report suggesting that 79 percent of 3,090 people interviewed in a survey believed that corruption within the Swazi government was “rife”.

According to the survey, corruption was perceived to take place mostly in rural councils. The perceived major causes of corruption were poverty (58 percent), unemployment (54 percent) and greed (41 percent).

The survey was conducted by the Swazi Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs through the ACC.

In June 2017, the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) reported the kingdom, which is ruled by King Mswati III as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, was riddled with corruption in both private and public places.

“The results of grand corruption are there for all to see in the ever increasing wealth of high-level civil servants and officers of state.”