Swaziland’s Ministry of Public Works and Transport Principal Secretary Makhosini Mndawe has denied that the government bought a fleet of cars worth US$7.5 million ahead of King Mswati III’s 50th birthday.
He contradicted a report from Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
Swaziland marks the King’s birthday and the 50th anniversary of Independence from Great Britain on 19 April 2018 in the so-called 50/50 Celebration.
The Sunday Observer (8 April 2018), a newspaper in effect owned by the King who rules Swaziland as an absolute monarch, reported Mndawe said dignitaries at the party would be chauffeured in the top-of-the-range BMW 740i sedans that were purchased for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit held in 2016.
The newspaper quoted him saying, ‘The ministry has not purchased any vehicles for the 50/50 celebrations. Invited heads of state will be ferried in the vehicles that were used during the SADC summit.’
On 11 March 2018, the Times Sunday, an independent newspaper in Swaziland, reported the Ministry of Public Works and Transport announced the E89 million (US$7.5 million) purchase of the luxury BMW cars in a report tabled in parliament. It said the cars would be used by the Close Protection Unit which is responsible for protecting dignitaries.
The newspaper did not say how many vehicles were purchased. The cars were bought through the government’s Central Transport Administration (CTA), it said.
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