In the midst of Swaziland’s financial crisis, and the ever increasing gap between rich and poor, King Mswati has decided to award himself a huge tender to supply food to the army. This was reported in a confused Times of Swaziland article early today.
The government of Swaziland has decided to make Tibiyo Taka Ngwane, the national investment trust company that the king uses as his personal piggy bank, the sole supplier of food to the country’s army.
The Principal Secretary in the Defence and Security ministry, Andreas Mathabela, claimed that the move was driven by reasons such as the ever escalating food prices and his personal delusion that Tibiyo is a company of nutritionists.
What the government has effectively done is to move food procurement from an open tendering process, albeit flawed, which had business opportunities for independent tax-paying suppliers, and give it to a non-tax paying entity that is completely controlled by the king.
While there were legal possibilities of rooting out corruption in the previous open tendering process, the new scheme has none and will only further enrich the royal family.
We condemn this greed and have to point out that this is one of the many man-made decisions that lead to the economic difficulties currently engulfing the country.
Swaziland Solidarity Network