Members of Parliament in Swaziland have suspended the budget of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) because they say the organisation is itself corrupt.
They want a select committee to investigate alleged wrongdoings. They blocked a budget of E13.1 million (US$109,000) until a report is delivered. The ACC comes under the Ministry for Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
It happened at the Swazi House of Assembly on Friday (16 March 2018). The Observer on Saturday reported MPs were concerned that the contract for ACC Commissioner Thanda Mngwengwe expired at the end of January 2018 but he still seemed to be at work and using a Mercedes Benz ML worth E1.2 million supplied by the ACC, plus a rented car.
According to the Observer, Nkwene MP Sikhumbuzo Dlamini ‘said there was a lot of corruption going on within the ACC. He mentioned that it was one department where they did what they liked with taxpayers’ money. What was disturbing, according to the Mkwene MP, was that Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Edgar Hillary was watching the corrupt practices allegedly done by Mngwengwe and his alleged partners in crime within the ACC.’
The newspaper added, ‘The minister indicated that the matter of 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 government was ‘rife’.
The survey suggested that 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.
It said, ‘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.’
It added, ‘For a long time the police, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade as well as the Department of Customs and Excise have often been implicated in corrupt practices.’
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