The staff association representing Swaziland’s jail warders has been banned from meeting because it is asking too many questions about how the prison department works.
The Commissioner General of His Majesty’s Correctional Services Isaiah Mzuthini Ntshangase reportedly said the Correctional Staff Association was a ‘hindrance’ and took up too much time.
The Observer on Saturday newspaper in Swaziland reported (14 October 2017) the association had been banned from meeting across Swaziland.
It reported one staff member saying, ‘Staff Association members are being victimised and petty crimes are being plotted against them by all means. We are scared to voice out our challenges as no meeting is sanctioned by the commissioner general where we can discuss our concerns as officers.’
The newspaper added that some staff members had been stopped from contesting the forthcoming local government elections, although they are legally entitled to do so. They received letters saying this was because of their work as prison officers and representatives of the staff association.
The Observer on Saturday also reported that the staff association had been blocked from meeting ‘because it is viewed as a rebellious faction for their continued questioning of wrongs within the department’.
It added, ‘The Staff Association is seen as a body that has been vocal on issues that led to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) clauses being implemented to the contentious Correctional Bill that has recently been passed.
The Observer on Saturday reported, ‘The Correctional Staff Association is a body of representatives for correctional officers that is alleged to have questioned the proceeds of the Correctional staff canteens, the non-availability of audited statements of the staff canteens, the total takeover of the entity by the commissioner general and disregarding the entity’s constitution. The rampant looting of the canteen proceeds has seen retired officers demanding a share.’
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