By Mbono Mdluli | 2018-03-13
Despite that former Swaziland Television Authority (STVA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bongani ‘S’gcokosiyancinca’ Dlamini is currently no longer working at the station, MPs hold a different view.
Yesterday, MPs insinuated that Dlamini was still in charge of the TV station and, therefore, called for his removal. They refused to approve a E10 million budget allocation to the station.
Officially, Dlamini’s contract expired in December and the board is in a process to hire a new CEO having interviewed preferred candidates. They have submitted a list of candidates to the minister to choose from with relevant structures.
However, there have been suggestions that Dlamini is likely to bounce back as CEO and it is only a matter of time before he is announced.
Legislators yesterday ignored the fact that Dlamini is officially out of contract and debated his matter like somebody who was still in charge of the TV station.
This transpired in the House of Assembly when Members of Parliament (MPs) were debating the performance report of the ministry of information, communications and technology (ICT). The legislators stated that the occupation of the CEO position was questionable.
Zombodze Emuva MP Titus Thwala is the one who was very vocal in calling for the removal of Dlamini as the CEO of the station, which is commonly known as Swazi TV. Thwala stated that he took his time to do some investigations and he found that there was a huge smoke engulfing the national television station, which made it very difficult to work.
In 2016, Parliament, according to Thwala, called for an audit to be instituted at Swazi TV following that there were questionable practices that bordered around maladministration of funds at the station.
The audit was done and an audit firm Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) was hired to do the audit, for which E2 million was paid by government.
The audit found that Dlamini was not fit to run the station. Therefore, he should vacate immediately because his presence would see the national television station crumble. Thwala wanted to know why Dlamini was still with the station, when the E2 million audit report stated clearly stated that the CEO had to go.
What was even more disturbing to the Zombodze Emuva lawmaker was that the audit report, which was done a long time ago by PWC, was never made public by Minister for Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) Dumisani Ndlangamandla. Thwala wanted to know why Ndlangamandla was failing to make the report public.
Another disturbing allegation submitted by Thwala in the House was that the station’s chequebook was never with the station’s chief financial officer (CFO), or any officer who could be managing the station’s cash flow. The chequebook was always with the CEO and there were instances where he would allegedly use it for his own personal gains.
There was a time where the board of the station decided not to let the CEO have access to the chequebook.
Thwala also stated that Dlamini wrote a resignation letter in June last year. His contract was supposed to end in December last year. The letter is said to have reached all the structures that it was supposed to reach. It even reached the office of the minister. However, it appeared as if the minister did not do anything about the matter because the CEO was still in office.
Mbabane West MP Johane Shongwe concurred with his Zombodze Emuva colleague. He urged the ICT minister to make the report public so that everything could be done the right way. He also warned the minister to refrain from using the name of the country’s authorities to protect the CEO. He called for a new CEO to be employed at Swazi TV.
The MPs finally resolved that they will not release the money budgeted for Swazi TV, which is E10 million, until the audit report of PWC was fully implemented. It would be unfair to the ordinary Swazi to find out that the MPs had passed a budgetary allocation to a station that was not performing. The rest of the money allocated for the ICT ministry was approved by the MPs. The money was E164 170 885 (recurrent expenditure) and E175 850 000 (capital expenditure).
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