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Govt house unoccupied for over 15 years

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NKOYOYO – While some people desperately need a roof over their heads, there is one person who allegedly rejected a three-bedroom house built for him.

The house was built over 15 years ago.

On the outskirts of the town, on the way to Nkoyoyo, the deserted house has turned into a sorry sight.

It has become dilapidated because people have helped themselves to some of the equipment in it to the extent that the floor tiles and wall cupboards have been removed.

A visit to the house by Swazi News on Tuesday uncovered that it was built for former government Ombudsman Robert Mabila who worked closely with the Liqoqo, the Supreme Council of State in the early 1980s.

Residents of the area have complained that the house has become a haven for thugs and are now using it as a hideout.

Even though the doors were blocked with corrugated iron that was welded on the door frames, the thugs have since broken the burglar bars on the windows and are now using them to gain entry into the house.

A resident, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they were very worried about what will finally happen to the house because it has been more than 15 years since it was built.

"The house was built at the time the Nkoyoyo Palace was built and a government contractor built it.

We used to hear people saying the house belonged to babe Mabila and he was expected to move from where he had built his house next to the palace. After the completion of the palace nothing happened and, after a few years people started helping themselves to some items in the house.

Things like bulbs, floor tiles, water taps, wall cupboards and kitchen utensils were all removed at different intervals," said a resident.

Mabila has three months to move from Nkoyoyo Palace - Ntuthuko

MBABANE - Minister of Public Works and Transport Ntuthuko Dlamini said his ministry was running out of patience on the issue of Robert Mabila’s refusal to move out of Nkoyoyo Palace premises.

He said the issue of the house was one of the first issues he had to deal with when he arrived at the ministry.

Dlamini said he had held a series of meetings with Mabila and he kept shifting goal posts.

"Government has been baby-sitting people like Mabila for a long time and our patience as a ministry is running thin. We are giving him three months to move out of the palace or face the wrath of the ministry.

"He demanded that the house should be built as per his instruction. The ministry brought in architects to design his house. It shocked us when he refused to move out.

He then made another demand where he alleged that the place did not have a title deed despite that he had built his home at Nkoyoyo where he had a title deed.

Dlamini said government advised Mabila that he could build houses to rent out and make money.

"But since he was not prepared to take our advice, I will commission bulldozers to go and demolish his structures inside the Nkoyoyo Palace.

There are a lot of people who need houses here in Mbabane.

If he does not occupy the house, government will take the place and build houses for public servants because there is a shortage of government houses.

On two occasions the place has been vandalised and government has been refurbishing it but now enough is enough," said Dlamini.

It is not mine - Mabila

NKOYOYO - Robert Mabila denied ownership of the said house but said the house belonged to government.

He said he never asked for the house to be built for him.

This is despite that it was built when he was moved from where the Nkoyoyo Palace was eventually built. "They told me that they built the house for me. I sent an emissary to the King and the King told me that he never ordered people to move me. To prove that there were times the King would invite us to the palace and we would have discussions with him. I do not remember even once the King asking us why we were not moving. In SiSwati, homesteads are not supposed to be moved because they form what is known as tinhlendlo. For instance, at Lozitha there is the Hlophe homestead, AK Hlophe’s place and they were there when the Lozitha Palace was built," said Mabila.

He said the house in question was built without consulting him.

He said he will not move to the place because he does not like the location.

 

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