The Swaziland (eSwatini) Government’s plan to feed the hungry during the coronavirus lockdown is falling apart.
Russell Dlamini, chief executive of The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) which is organising the relief, said people who cheated and registered for the E700 cash available but were still in employment faced arrest.
The fund was set up to give money to about 300,000 who faced hunger and possible starvation when they lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 lockdown that started on 27 March 2020. Many businesses were forced to close.
Dlamini said the cheats should immediately pay back the money.
There have been so many reports across the kingdom that the registration was flawed that in some places the whole process is to start again.
Over recent weeks there have been numerous reports that organisations tasked by NDMA had failed to identify people genuinely in need. In turn those organisations blamed NDMA saying the process they were asked to follow was flawed.
Media reported that money was going to civil servants, landlords and some law enforcement officers who had registered under questionable circumstances.
The Swazi Government’s feeding scheme was a failure from the start. Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini had announced it to feed more than 300,000 people by 6 May. By a month after that date only 113,273 people had received aid. On 5 June he promise everyone would get their payment within a week.
The feeding plan was originally rejected by members of the House of Assembly who preferred that food, rather than cash, be distributed. They feared money would not be spent on food.
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