By Sibusiso Dlamini | 2019-04-15
An amount of over E79 million belonging to the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini has been lost.
The money of course did not just vanish into thin air, as a matter-of-fact it was ‘miraculously’ sent to a ‘lucky’ company.
Lucky on this occasion because they never accounted for any cent and no valuation of work was done or payment vouchers used when paying them. The money was sent to the company on different occasions and this was noted by members of the Public Service Committee (PAC) as well as the Auditor General (AG) when the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade’s Principal Secretary (PS) Siboniso Nkambule appeared before the PAC Committee this past week.
There isn’t even any single document that is properly in place for money to leave the ministry. Every rule in the game was broken and our money, our hard earned money was thieved.
And this was shared with us with such swagger and lack of urgency it makes one wonder whether someone is even trying to find the money.
Or is it a matter of someone trying to make sure that no one tries to find the money, and the leak. Who authorised this and why?
What has the ministry been doing with such knowledge? Are the police involved? If not, why? Why haven’t we known about this and why is Nkhambule not even worried when talking about it.
Instead, Nkambule has the audacity to come to the House of Assembly dressed in his usual shiny shoes and fancy suits combo to state that he didn’t know that the ministry gave away over E79 million of the taxpayers money with a smile even.
This to me is what characterises our government and why we are in this economic recession that we are in. Our government does bad business. And this bad business is because of poor management of cash flow. To quote business mogul, Warren Buffett, ‘accounting is the language of business.’
If money isn’t accounted for, then you are already heading towards a loss. And this time, it was deliberate. Someone deliberately sent that money to Heptagon Company (Pty) Ltd, not once, but a couple of times, and someone deliberately looked away, again, not once but a number of times.
The question to me then becomes – if those people are still very much working at the ministry of commerce, industry and trade, what makes us so sure that money still isn’t getting lost there?
Why shouldn’t I believe that money is still being looted and this is just a tip of the iceberg? Something tells me more money is getting lost at the ministry and someone with influence at the ministry is responsible.
Not only did this Heptagon just get our money, they also took our property worth over E900 000, I’m talking motor vehicles, furnished temporary offices as well as name-boards. How lucky that company is! And once again, the ministry saw it fit to do absolutely nothing about this until reporting to the PAC.
And this happened a good two years ago for goodness sake!
This shows that efficiency and accountability is still something foreign to our government. This should be worrying to the Prime Minister (PM) Ambrose Dlamini because I know for a fact that in his past life in the private sector, he was used to accountability of all monies, hence the corporation he headed made millions in profits.
It is perhaps this type of thinking that had me excited and made me optimistic of his appointment as head of government.
But, with a few months down the line, it seems as much as he has tried to implement a few ‘belt-tightening’ means, it seems everything is still pretty much business as usual in our Kingdom.
People holding key positions are still not held accountable for their actions and they are still pretty much the most ineffective bunch ever.
I am even foreseeing such a situation whereby this issue will just be a hullabaloo for a few days and then everyone will forget about it come next week. No one will even bother to follow up on our lost monies.
It is worrying and very much heart-breaking to all those that diligently serve the country. A few years back, I watched one intriguing series titled ‘The Blacklist’ and I am reminded of one interesting phrase said by the charismatic villain, Raymond Redding-tonabout tax, and I quote -“One of the few things I really enjoy about being one of the most sought after criminals in the world is the fact that I get to skip taxes.
I swear I would die because of the excruciating pain in my heart if I would ever work my a** off for some greedy round-bellied a** swinging behind a chair’s benefit.’
I feel for the new minister because this proves that there’s a lot of rot he needs to deal with in his ministry. He doesn’t know who to trust.
He needs to be hands-on with everything if he is to rejuvenate this very crucial sector in the development of our economy.
As for the engineers that are paid for lying idle, one lucky Caleb Motsa chap and his friend who last seriously worked on anything in 2016! How lucky some people are!
What is clear is that our country doesn’t have money, but a lot of people are wasting the little that we have and no one is doing anything about it. People’s heads must roll. Mr PM, Minister Khumalo, the AG, someone find out what happened to our money, please!
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