Businessman wants E800 000 from E50m Fund
By Sabelo Mamba

Swazi Observer

28 June 2007


ANOTHER case involving the E50 million Job Creation Fund has found its way to the High Court,


where a businessman is demanding over E800 000 in respect of training services rendered to the community under Maseyisini constituency in the Shiselweni region.

Sipho Shongwe, of Swaziland Livestock Technical Services, has since instructed Mkhwanazi Attorneys to pursue the matter on his behalf.

In a letter from Mkhwanazi Attorneys, addressed to the Attorney General’s office, he writes;

“We act for and on behalf of Swaziland Livestock Technical Services, hereinafter referred to as our client. Our client instructs us that it was awarded a tender by government to offer training or capacity building under the Maseyisini Inkhundla.

Our client duly performed his duties in terms of the agreement and tendered its invoices to government for payment. To date, our client has not been paid for the services rendered.

We are instructed, therefore, to demand, as we hereby do, payment in the sum of E886 400 to our offices within 14 days, failing which, summons will be issued against government without further notice and at its own costs.”

The law firm has already issued summons against government and the matter is pending at the High Court.

Not long ago, police arrested about eight people, including civil servants, for allegedly helping themselves to the E50 million Capacity Building Fund.

However, the High Court released them on E15 000 bail each. During the bail application, acting Director of Public Prosecutions Mumcy Dlamini obtained a court order to have their bank accounts frozen and properties attached, pending completion of police investigations.


26 percent HIV positive


Swazi Times

28 June 2007

MBABANE – More accurate figures of the HIV prevalence rate in Swaziland reveal that at least 26 percent of those who are sexually active are infected with the virus that causes AIDS.

This was revealed yesterday at the presentation of findings of the 2006/07 Demographic Health Survey (DHS).

Unlike the system used previously to come up with figures outlining the prevalence of HIV in the country, the recent survey took samples that represented the entire population.

It was, however, explained at the presentation that while this new figure may appear to be an improvement, compared to the 39 percent reported in 2006, it did not actually mean time to celebrate had come.

Agencies involved in the exercise categorically warned against comparing the two, as they are not only independent, but also incomparable.

The 42.6 percent was the prevalence rate among pregnant women visiting antenatal care (ANC) clinics.

The 26 percent announced yesterday was arrived at after an analysis of statistics gathered during last year’s survey, which drew samples from figures representative of the entire population.

It represents the prevalence rate among the total population of people aged from 15 to 49.

It was explained that persons aged two and older were targeted for testing.

It was further explained during the presentation of the statistics that testing was anonymous and the results were not returned to subjects.

The informed consent procedures, similar to procedures used in anaemia testing, was used.

A brochure had been provided to sub-jects, explaining the testing procedure.

The subjects were advised that they would not receive results, but were provided with information on Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) sites if they wanted to know their status.

People, who might feel the urge to celebrate the lower figure given by the last survey, should not forget that Swaziland is still the country with the highest rate of HIV infection.

It was compared to 23 countries that included South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, but found to be still the country with the highest infection rate.

Swaziland is closely followed by Botswana and Lesotho at 24 percent, respectively.

In Zambia and South Africa, the infection rate among the above-mentioned age group is 26 percent, while it is 12 percent in Malawi.


Dagga can be core of Swazi economy
By Phila Dlamini

Swazi Observer

21 June 2007


MANZINI Regional Administrator Prince Masitsela has said there is an untapped potential of dagga being the core of the Swazi economy. The Prince made these remarks when speaking at the official opening of Manzini region’s mini-agricultural summit held at


The Prince said he had been tipped off on the potential of dagga on several occasions whilst abroad, especially in Europe. “Lensangu yakini le ingu-grade one (this dagga from Swaziland is of the highest quality). Lensangu lifa lemaSwati (dagga is the real Swazi gold),” he related.

He said since there were difficulties with legalising the herb renowned for causing mental disturbances with some users, government should consider monopolising dagga trade for itself, including taking care of growing and processing it as well as exporting it to eager overseas markets.

The Prince also suggested that the dagga be grown and processed locally into medication for exportation. He noted that the money generated from its sale could then be invested in subsidising the entire agricultural industry.

The RA further noted that all stable economies, worldwide, had booming agricultural sectors. “Subsidisation can help the country attain food security. Thereafter, we can think of selling the surplus,” he suggested.

The Prince also urged locals to venture into other agricultural enterprises.

The debate about the herb’s potential as a revenue spinner to boost the country’s economy dates back a few years. Even though police have been destroying dagga fields every year, it is estimated that about 70 percent of farmers in the Hhohho region plant dagga for a living. Most of them have attributed this to poverty.

Swazi dagga has found its way not only to South Africa but also into the European market. In Johannesburg, for example, it is called ‘Swazi Gold’. It is also reported that the whole African continent finds dagga the most lucrative cash crop. The herb is usually smuggled into South Africa and Mozambique for shipment to Europe.


What is dagga?

It is a green plant-like substance derived from the dagga plant. The dagga plant can be found in the form of a bush and its size is dependent on various factors, for instance, the temperature in which it grows, rainfall, nutrients in the soil in which it grows and some inherited genes in the seeds that are being used during the planting process.

There is a wide variety in sizes of the dagga plant. One of its characteristics is the leaf that can be found in the form of a hand, which usually consists of an uneven number of leaves, usually five, seven, nine or 11, situated on the stem.

There are several street names for dagga, including marijuana, zol, skyf, joint, weed, grass, s**t, pot, boom, ganja, dope, hash, smoke, mary jane, hemp and green gold.


Woman bitten by rabid pig


Swazi Times

21 June 2007

MANZINI – A 55-year-old woman has told how she lost her appetite for pork after a pig attacked and bit her.

It has since been established that the woman was later diagnosed to have been infected with rabies.

Sophie Zulu of Vusweni told this newspaper that she stared death in the face after she tried to scare the pig away with two stones, and instead it charged towards her.

She said as she tried to move backwards, she fell and the pig bit her on her right thigh.

Zulu said it chewed the chunk of flesh it had bitten from her and she was forced to flee into her house.

The woman is presently recuperating at the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial (RFM) Hospital, where she is also being treated for rabies. She has also been diagnosed with rabies after personnel from the Veterinary Department visited her and requested the hospital to give her the rabies vaccine.

Zulu said she used to like pork, but after the incident it would take her time before she ate pork again.

The incident happened last Thursday morning when she returned home from a dipping tank with her grandson.

She said when they arrived at their home, they found a neighbour’s pig in her garden, eating her sweet potatoes.

Luckily when the pig attacked her, her grandson, who had told her that he was afraid, had asked her to lock him in the house.

The old woman said she was surprised how the neighbour’s pig got into her garden as it is fenced.

Zulu said although she had pigs, she could tell that it was not one of hers as it was big-ger.

“When I reached the safety of my house, I started sweating and I called my children who are in Manzini and one of my neighbours.

“They all came to help me.

“I also began vomiting and they took me to Sigombeni Clinic, where I was helped by the nurses before I was transferred to the RFM,” said Zulu.

Zulu said this was the first incident in the area.

The owners of the pig visited her at the hospital.

The pig has not been killed as of yet as the owners feel they should wait for Veterinary personnel to do some tests on it.

Pharmacist saves mamba bite victim


Swazi Times

19 June 2007


MBABANE – A snakebite victim who was lying and waiting for death at the Mbabane Government Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit after it had been discovered that the biggest hospital in the country was without an anti-venom vaccine, was miraculously saved from death.

The quick action and sacrifice by Mbabane Pharmacist John Mirkin (popularly known as Mphandlana) of Swazipharm, saved the life of a man who had been bitten by a mamba snake.

Mirkin had to drive all the way to Nelspruit and back with the drug known as Polyvalent – a snakebite serum. The drug is used for all poisonous snakebites. The man’s identity has not been established but it was disclosed yesterday that he was unconscious when the anti-venom drug was brought at the hospital.

A source said the patient was admitted in a serious condition at the hospital’s ICU when it was discovered that the snakebite serum was not available.

The doctor in-charge of the ICU, Dr Nimrod Matekere, called Swazipharm, a pharmaceutical company, which also did not have the anti-snake bite in stock. A pharmacist at Swazipharm called a clinic in Nelspruit where the drug was secured.

As it was getting late, it was almost impossible to have the drug in Swaziland. Mirkins offered to drive to Nelspruit at no cost to anybody. Mirkins confirmed that he drove all the way to Nelspruit and back.

He said all he wanted was to save a life. According to him, he left Swaziland at about 5:30pm and was back shortly before 10pm. At Nelspruit, there was no delay. He was given what he came for and he was on the road back to Swaziland. He got four vials of snakebite serum.

“At about 9:30pm I was at the border on my way back. I called Dr Matekere that I had the snakebite serum. Shortly before 10pm I was at the hospital and I went straight to the ICU and pushed the medication through the door,” he said.

He said all he heard was the nurse who said; “Thanks God you are here.” Mirkins said it was his determination to save a life that made him drive at high speed to Nelspruit. It could not be established if the victim was bitten by the black or green mamba. The black mamba is a highly venomous snake. Besides saving the life of the snakebite victim, Mirkin was also involved in securing the 10 ampoules of immunoglublin – an anti-rabies drug.

This was after Swazipharm had been contacted by Dr Matekere to help secure the drug.

Five children had been bitten by a child who had been bitten by a dog diagnosed with rabies. The child bitten by the dog died before help could arrive but it has been revealed that the child’s life was already beyond saving.

By Hlengiwe Ndlovu

Swazi Observer

18 June 2007


IT can only happen in Swaziland, and of course Iraq.
In an unprecedented move, there are increasing fears that the University of Swaziland (UNISWA) Senate might decide to nullify this year’s examinations following suspicions of cheating by some students.

So tense is the situation that it could be mistakenly likened to situations common in Iraq, where however, examinations are often disrupted by war violence, school guards with AK-47 assault rifles, gunfire and bullets flying. UNISWA students sat for their examinations last month and due to previous cases where some were found to have cheated, security was beefed up this year.


This resulted in security cameras being installed in some venues such as the Multi Purpose Hall and marquee where a large number of students sat for their exams.

It was gathered that the institution’s senate meets today, amidst fears of possible nullification of this academic year’s exams due to suspicions of foul play.

A sizable number of students at the university were suspected to have had a ‘copying’ field day during the exams written about a month ago.

It was alleged that some of them actually brought into the examination centres pre-written scripts which were later transferred onto the prescribed answering sheets, somehow escaping detection by both the cameras and invigilators.

However, their antics seem to have come back to haunt them as reports revealed that lecturers picked up certain anomalies and subsequently, investigations were instituted.

It must be noted that such copying acts happened despite the presence of state-of-the-art cameras installed at the larger examination centres for the very reason of nipping such incidences in the bud.

“Some of our colleagues have the guts and nerve to copy inside an exam room that has cameras,” said one law student who preferred to comment on basis of anonymity. He went on to say there was a belief among students that the security cameras were actually ‘scarecrows’ merely put there to scare the students off.

However, it was not clear what could have created such a belief amongst the students.


Unconfirmed reports were that in some faculties, students’ scripts were found with suspiciously similar answers, thus prompting investigations by the institution’s administrators.

However, it could not be ascertained whether all students could be affected by the possible nullification or whether it could just be a particular faculty or individual students found guilty of committing such an offence.

Meanwhile, UNISWA Registrar Sipho Vilakati refused to comment when approached by this newspaper on the allegations.

He referred all queries to his deputy.

“Gama is the only person who has the mandate to comment on such issues,” he insisted, refusing to entertain any further questions.


On the other hand, Deputy Registrar - Corporate Affairs Ambrose Gama said he could not shed light on the issue, pending senate’s meeting today.

“We cannot pre-empt the meeting’s outcome as senate is yet to discuss the issue,” he said.


GOVERNMENT LOSES E50m... can't meet Global Fund standards
By Njabulo Dlamini

Swazi Observer

18 June 2007

GOVERNMENT was recently forced to cough out E50 million for the sustenance of Anti-Retroviral therapy after the Global Fund suspended an allocation to Swaziland due to absence of a patient management system.


The Global Fund noted that despite its calls for establishment of a management system for ARVs, nothing had been done in that regard, hence the suspension.

Seeing that patients on Anti-Retroviral therapy might suffer, government purchased the drugs, thus losing E50 million which could have been the grant received from the international body.

“It’s true we didn’t qualify for Round Six (6) of the Global Fund allocation due to technical reasons, but we are now busy with Round Seven (7) preparations and have reinstated the application,” National Emergency Response Council on HIV and AIDS (NERCHA) Director Derek von Wissell said.

He said the figure involved in the application was in the region of E50 million, but repeatedly stated that it was not like the country had ‘missed out entirely’.

“All is not lost since we will reinstate the application turned down by the Global Fund and indications are that we might get the funding required. To say we missed out is rather too strong since a chance has been availed under Round Seven to re-submit the application.”

Asked on the specific reasons behind the rejection of the application, von Wissell strongly disputed that it was due to absence of a patient management system as informers alleged.

“The drug and management system is in place and was rolled out as a pilot by the ministry (of health). It is now ready for implementation, I think by the end of the month after being tested,” he said.

Von Wissell also confirmed that the country had its grant suspended by the Global Fund, but said this was reinstated in March this year.

Thembi Nkambule, Swaziland National Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS (SWANNEPHA) Co-ordinator said she was not aware of the matter since she had been away and only returned to the country on Friday.

It is worth noting though that this is not the first time Swaziland has been suspended for failure to adhere to standards of the Global Fund which demands a patient management system on ARVs, amongst other things.

A well-placed source, whilst decrying the E50 million spent by the cash-strapped government to purchase the drugs, said it was commendable since the worst might have happened for patients on ARVs had such expenditure not been undertaken.

Meanwhile, Health and Social Welfare Minister Njabulo Mabuza said his ministry was not formally appraised of developments on the matter, but was aware an application to the Global Fund had been submitted.

As for the patient management system, the minister said this was in place and delays were because the process had to be inter-linked in between the regions so that patients could access treatment and make follow-ups from wherever rather than going to far flung places.



Hospital treats over 15 dog bites a day


Swazi Times

18 June 2007

MBABANE – Since the rabies outbreak was reported recently, the Mbabane Government Hospital has had to attend to more than 15 cases of dog bites a day.

According to reliable sources at the hospital’s Outpatient Department (OPD), each day they have had to treat over 15 people who all come with fresh dog bites.

The sources said the statistics were a sign that more rabies cases could be expected.

The rabies outbreak was reported within the outskirts of Mbabane and already a child has died due to the disease but is yet to buried as the family had to postpone her burial last week for a post mortem to be conducted.

Practising students at the hospital from the University of Swaziland’s Faculty of Health and other health institutions also confirmed that most of the people at the OPD had come for vaccines related to dog bites.

“I was startled to hear most of the patients had come for rabies related treatment after being bitten by dogs in various areas within the capital,” said one of the students.

This state of affairs was also confirmed by the OPD staff, who encouraged people to immediately come to the hospital whenever they get bitten by a dog so as to get help on time.


However, the disease remains a threat to the public as it has been reported that the South African suppliers have issued out a memo stopping supply of the immunoglobillin, which is vital for treating rabies when it has reached symptomatic stages.

The hospital’s Manager Thoko Maseko, confirmed last week that they only have the rabies anti-vaccine treatment taken over a few days after diagnosis but lack immunoglobullin.

No immediate comment could be ascertained from the hospital administration as they were reportedly locked in a meeting for the better part of the day yesterday.

Dr Thembi Ndlangamandla of the Mbabane Vet Offices said more and more cases were being reported daily from within and around Mbabane.

“We get people from as far at Siphocosini who have been bitten by dogs and suspect they might have rabies. We always refer them to the hospital to get treatment immediately,” said Dr Ndlangamandla.

On average the vet offices receive 20 cases per day and sometimes the number is too high.

People are also urged to find treatment immediately to avoid complications.

SMEs into manufacturing

By Ackel Zwane

Swazi Observer

8 June 2007


A local crop of SMEs has ventured into manufacturing by printing and producing sacks as well as other packaging bags.


Directors of Pakisha Enterprises, trading as Taga Investments, Thulani Matsebula and Sipho Nkosi service the local market with a range of packaging bags (sacks).

“We entered into a joint venture with Polypack to take advantage of their machinery and expertise. We get the orders for the manufacture of 50kg, 25kg, one tonne bags and so on. Polypack, being a product of Foreign Direct Investment, has no access to the market except through Swazis. We took advantage of the business opportunity,” said Matsebula.

Already Pakisha prints bags with company logos for the local distributors of mainly animal feed and also millers. Their plant is situated in Hhelehhele where they also produce bags of different sizes. Swaziland Investment Promotion Authority CEO Phiwa Ginindza said this was one gigantic opportunity for SMEs to leap forward and partner with FDIs.

He further said it was within SIPA portfolio to promote such joint ventures and encourage the SMEs to partner with a view of growing into full scale manufacturing industrial giants.

Pakisha generally brings specifications to Polypack to harvest the benefit of state of the art machinery.

Polypack produces and prints bags for such giants as Lesotho Maize Mills, Yellow Grits, SA, SASOL - Expan 300, Iwisa, Lomotek Polymers, Snowflake, Impala, Easybake and many more. Polypack uses mainly oil based raw material for the production of different varieties of sack specifications. The production lines are numerous including printing and packing.

Select Committee Members of Parliament for the ministry of enterprise and employment were taken to a conducted tour of all Ngwenya factories. Polypack is the first and largest, with a 473 strong staffing complement.

Enterprise Minister Lutfo Dlamini even noted that it would be wise to get producers and distributors from his constituency to print bags for their area and products.

“It would make the product custom made and we would consolidate our originality,” he said. Polypack sits on a 25 000 square metre piece of land provided by government. Government also provided the factory shell together with infrastructure to the tune of E150 million. Polypack has so far invested E100 million. Its operation capital that comes from local banks is a paltry E400 000.

Minister Dlamini told the MPs during a briefing after the tour that government had wanted investment that relied less on water but such industry tends to use more electricity, as is the case with Polypack.

Dlamini further said it was envisaged that all other industries that supported their core business would set up shop near the Ngwenya factory. Polypack is the first factory there but others are yet to come even though the space at Ngwenya Industrial Site has all been taken.

Manufacturing requires huge capital investments which the Swazi SME does not have in most times. It, therefore, makes a lot of business sense to enter into joint ventures with the FDIs.

Polypack products are found all over the world used in packaging explosives, chemicals and so on.


Mpheni Dlomo wins, weeps


Swazi Times

8 June 2007

MBABANE – Senator and Businessman Mpheni Dlomo wept inside Court B of the High Court after he won his landmark case against the Prime Minister Themba Dlamini over the blacklisting of his companies. High Court Judge Qinisile Mabuza yesterday ordered the setting aside of the Cabinet resolution to blacklist senator Dlomo’s companies from conducting dealings with government. This happened in April last year. The companies in question are MPD Marketing and Supplies (PTY) LTD, Supreme Emergency Vehicles, MPD Pharmaceuticals and Masimphe Investments.

This means the companies will now be eligible to tender for government projects.

Justice Mabuza has also ordered that government pays the costs of the application with the certified costs of Counsel.

She said the court found that there was no legal and rational basis for the existence of power by the Prime Minister and Cabinet in taking the decision to blacklist the companies.

She said if Dlomo had fallen foul of the law and had committed a crime, then he should be charged and tried accordingly.

In her 59 page judgement, Justice Mabuza said significant features of what transpired at the meeting of the Prime Minister and Cabinet of April 4 were that it purported to examine ‘evidence’ in the form of reports of commissions of inquiry and purported to make a finding of Dlomo’s guilty involvement in corrupt and, or irregular and questionable conduct. She said to this extent, the action of the Prime Minister and Cabinet had the hallmarks of the judicial function, which was an unlawful act.

“Even if it had been an administrative action, it would have still demanded the due and proper recognition and application of the rules of natural justice, which did not happen,” she said.

Justice Mabuza said, according to Advocate Vetten who represented government, references to several Commissions of Inquiry were insufficient to satisfy the test that there was some reasonable ground upon which the executive organ of government might express itself. He said five reports of Commission of Inquiry and a Public Accounts Committee report was more than sufficient to justify the taking of the Cabinet decision.

“If such a decision may lawfully be taken. then it constitutes the appropriate pursuit of a lawful measure to expose, combat and eradicate corruption and abuse or misuse of power by those holding political and other public offices as envisaged in section 58(5) of the constitution,” she said.

Justice Mabuza said her finding was that the status of the various reports by the Commissions of Inquiry was that the evidence therein was hearsay and therefore inadmissible. She said the point of convergence for all four reports was tendering the procurement processes and focus was centralised on the Treasury Tender Board.

“All four commissions in one way or another made recommendations for a stronger control, transformation and transparency of the tendering process. These companies that continuously failed in their bids should know how their competitors continuously succeeded,” she said.

She said it was also felt that the personnel at the Treasury Tender Board and key positions in government should not be manned by the same people for long periods. She said they should be rotated as this the commissions felt would curb irregular activities. Advocate Wise, who was instructed by attorney Kenneth Motsa, represented MPD, while Advocate D. Vetten, who was represented by Attorney John Magagula, represented government.

By Musa Ndlangamandla

Swazi Observer

6 June 2007


GOVERNMENT has issued a strong appeal to members of parliament, business, labour and civic groups to assist in a major thrust campaign to ‘flush’ out bogus investors from the country.


Minister of Enterprise and Employment Lutfo Dlamini said he needed everyone’s backing and a strong united front to stem the tide. He said government’s efforts to deal squarely with the influx in September 2006 failed because of lack of support from stakeholders.

The ‘fish ‘n chips’ investors are said to flock the country in droves to usurp investment opportunities from Swazis by engaging in even the smallest businesses concerns.

Unfair competition

“Some come from their countries with nothing more than briefcases, open tin roof grocery stores under candlelight in the townships, operate spaza shops, socks selling concerns and ‘fish and chips shops. This is unfair competition to the locals. How can we as a country allow someone to come from overseas, bring wife, children, brothers and sisters only to fry chips in the country,” wondered one of the participants in a highly charged meeting between a group of Nhlangano businessmen, a five-men parliamentary select committee, the Minister of Enterprise and Employment Lutfo Dlamini and the Swaziland Investment Promotions Authority (SIPA).

Former MP Anthony Roberts wondered if government had a clear policy to screen people who come to the country posing as investors.

“We want partnerships, we want new money and we need investors in the country. But, such should not attract all sorts of characters that will end up putting Swazis in a disadvantaged position. We need someone to add value to the country,” he said.

Roberts lamented that the ‘bogus’ investors were a cartel that bought in bulk and completely pushed out indigenous Swazi businesses from competition. “I have had to close down one of my businesses because I could not compete in such a chaotic situation,” he said.

Another businessman Rose said it was important that when the country tries to find Foreign Direct Investment the industry should have set standards and should be properly regulated to avoid ‘bogus’ investors.

Sabelo Mabuza, SIPA Director - Investment Facilitation and Aftercare, said his organisation was strict on the kind of investor to operate in the country. He added though that their efforts were somewhat hampered by the fact that the country was still working on its investment policy. “We look at the extent of capital investment this person is coming with. We also consider job creation in the process. Not only that, wealth creation plays a vital role in the decision as we look to see whether there will be positive spin-offs, not just for government and the investors, but the community as a whole,” Mabuza said. Minister Dlamini however came down hard on the business people for their tendency to complain without taking appropriate action. He said government had a solid definition of an investor, arguing that the increase in the ‘rent-a-Swazi’ syndrome was what caused the influx.

“There is too much talk and no action. I have been insulted by people who say these people are mine. I have never recommended a ‘bogus’ investor to government for a licence. It is you who bring these people, give them your licences to operate these backstreet shops and spazas. A majority of the so called ‘bogus’ investors have the backing and support of yourselves,” Dlamini said.

He also cautioned Swazi businesspeople to guard against jealousy and to work together.

“If you notice the people you are complaining about you will find that they support one another. If you do not find a pencil at X’s shop, X will not send you away, but will direct you to his brother Y’s shop to get it. That never happens with you. You would rather have someone open an account far off than to support a business colleague in your area,” Dlamini said. He added that such jealousy and ‘push-and -shove’ syndrome was not confined to business people, but other sectors suffered from such a malady too.


“Even in politics tiyagudlulana kodvwa sitsi sisebentela isystem yinye. We say we work for the system but we are busy pulling one another down. There shall be no success for Swazis if we continue to work like this,” Dlamini said.

He said he has been insulted before when he insisted that there should be a bias towards Swazis in some of the businesses. “You need to back me up. these people are your friends and you help them for personal gain,” he lamented.

Minister Dlamini added that the law allowed the business people to object to the setting up of a business which they suspect could jeopardise Swazi interests. “You must use your rights. You must participate fully in these processes,” Minister Dlamini said.

Dlamini added that when he pushed for the changes in 2006 he was insulted by some people who said he would kill business.

“They insulted me when I said there should be a bias towards Swazis concerning some businesses. They said the car washing business idea was brought to the country by certain nationals and that we could not then restrict this to Swazis. I said what type of a country would import people to wash cars. What does it take to wash cars? What type of a country would import people to come and cut keys? You need to support me on the need to protect Swazi business. We need to solve this issue and we need a national effort to do that,” Minister Dlamini said. Sabelo Mabuza, SIPA Director - Investor Facilitation and Aftercare, confirmed that most often than no, it is the Swazis who collude with the so-called ‘bogus’ investors by giving them licences and helping them start the businesses in Swaziland.


Rabies-infected girl dies


Swazi Times

6 June 2007

MBABANE – Four year old Minenhle Dludlu, who was bitten by a rabid dog two weeks ago, is dead.

She died on Monday night at around 10:30pm.

This is the same girl who was admitted and discharged a few days later at the Mbabane Government Hospital as there was no immunoglobulin, the vaccine she desperately needed after being bitten by the rabid dog at Mangwaneni on May 20th.

While doctors and veterinary surgeons described her death as a terrible one, it again highlighted the number of problems at the public health institution as she had a chance of surviving had the medication been available.

Minenhle’s demise comes six months after the Prime Minister, Themba Dlamini, in his end of year statement of 2006, reassured the nation that government would work on addressing the issue of drugs shortage in the country’s hospitals.

While the matter has still not been addressed, a call to the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital (RFM) revealed that Minenhle may be alive today had officials at the Mbabane Government Hospital done the same as the vaccine is available there.

A matron said they thought about requesting for the vaccine from RFM, but did not.

The immunoglobulin vaccine was only ordered after Minenhle had been admitted. While it was said to be on its way, the disease took its toll.

By late last night, it could not be established whether the vaccine had arrived from South Africa as per the order.

The girl’s case is not the only one as two other people are said to have died under the same circumstances at the hospital; non-availability of the same drug. The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives announced that there was a rabies outbreak about three weeks ago, but it is still puzzling how the Health ministry failed to make the appropriate measures.

Official comment could not be sourced from the hospital as the Senior Medical Officer, Dr Makhosazane Dlamini, and the Hospital Manager, Thoko Maseko, were reported to be attending a workshop.

Doctors, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the situation at the government hospital was worse than it appeared to be.

“If the hospital records are anything to go by, then people have been dying since September. The ministry has not done anything to address the situation. People have been dying from different illnesses and this, as far as I am concerned, is a trivial issue,” a doctor said, while accusing the journalists of making an issue out of nothing.

He did, however, say the Ministry of Agriculture had acted prudently in this regard.