Sunday, May 8, 2011


So, where is the high profile corruption trial the Swaziland Prime Minister promised us would take place in April?

That’s April 2011: Not April some year never.

In February Barnabas Dlamini was embroiled in a personal corruption scandal involving his purchase of government land at hugely discounted rates.

Dlamini and many of his fellow cabinet members – all handpicked by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch – were reeling from disclosures about their personal dishonesty and the way they had been able to in effect steal land from the Swazi people.

Then to deflect attention away from himself, Dlamini, who was appointed PM by King Mswati in contravention of the Swazi Constitution, announced a high profile corruption trial was on the way.

Unsurprisingly, to anyone who follows events in Swaziland, the local media reported what he said uncritically.

Dlamini was allowed to get away with the claim ‘that a high profile corruption case will be in the High Court in April’.

The Times of Swaziland reported on 15 February 2011, ‘Even though the premier did not elaborate on this, he said government was committed to the fight against corruption.’

The newspaper reported him saying, ‘Sinabo shaca (we will leave no stone unturned),’ he said in reference to corrupt individuals adding ‘lonyaka bato setjentwa (in 2011 we will deal with them severely).’

He said, ‘I hear that in April a big case will commence at the High Court.’

Dlamini, who has a reputation for delivering highly-charged statements at press conferences, went on to claim that his government would ‘not be deterred by the plots to frustrate the investigations’ into corruption activities in the kingdom.

‘We expect very soon to see some of the most substantial cases under investigation coming to the High Court,’ he said.

He said the corrupt individuals would see government’s resolve.

So, here we are in the second week of May 2011: April has come and gone and no corruption case is being heard.

Dlamini should make a public statement immediately to tell the Swazi people the names of the accused and when the court case will be heard.

Otherwise, we shall be forced to conclude that he was telling lies.

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