Thursday, February 23, 2012


Cash amounting to nearly E1.1 million (US$143,000) has gone unaccounted for at Swaziland’s embassy in Kuwait, putting the spotlight back on Phesheya Dlamini, who was recalled as ambassador in 2010.

The Acting Swaziland Auditor General Phestecia Nxumalo, in a report found that E434,000 of ‘petty cash’ and E654, 000 in the ambassador’s travel allowances could not be accounted for. The ‘petty cash’ went missing over a three-month period in 2009. The report was for the year ended 31 March 2011.

The A-G’s report was revealed by the Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper. It said the A-G found receipts for the expenditure were not available and this was illegal.

The newspaper did not reveal that in 2010 Dlamini was recalled from Kuwait to Swaziland amid accusations of his implication in a corruption scandal. He reportedly stayed at the top-class Ezulwini Sun, in one of the kingdom’s main tourist spots. According to the Swazi News at the time, he ran up a bill close to E100,000 (about US$10,000) .

Lutfo Dlamini, then Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, was also implicated in the corruption scandal.

At the time the Swaziland Solidarity Network reported that both men had been accused of stealing money from the Kuwaiti Royal Family intended for King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. The Swaziland Police were called in, but no official announcement of what they did was given. It is known that police were sent to pick Lutfo Dlamini up from his parent’s home and escort him to a meeting with Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini.

What happened next is clouded in secrecy. It seems King Maswati ordered both men to be sacked from their jobs, but they were later reinstated, allegedly on the instructions of King Mswati’s mother, causing a rift in the royal household.

Phesheya Dlamini returned to Kuwait. Lutfo Dlamini has since been moved from the Foreign Ministry to Labour and Social Affairs.

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