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MPs give Majozi final warning

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LOBAMBA — More Members of Parliament have demanded that Minister of Finance Majozi Sithole reverse their 10 per cent salary cuts, this time—with immediate effect.

Mbabane West MP Johannes Shongwe said yesterday’s request was the last one that he would make personally to the minister and said they would next meet in court.

"I like you a lot, but what you did was unlawful and if you do not return the money, clearly we will see each other in the witness box," said Shongwe.

What seemed to upset the MPs was that government had failed to successfully negotiate the salary cuts with civil servants yet they had made a sacrifice.

"You have only been able to reduce the wage bill by six million emalangeni yet it was supposed to be E240 million so we would like our money back," said Motshane MP Robert Magongo.

Magongo said it was amazing that government was continuing to employ more staff as witnessed by the ongoing recruitment of the security forces yet on the other hand it was trying to reduce the wage bill.

The MPs made these submissions during the portfolio committee budget performance debate.

Nkhaba MP Enock Dlamini said he personally never agreed to the cuts and said he hoped that the money was accumulating interest wherever it was.

The legality of the cuts was also questioned by Khubutha MP Charles Myeza.

Sithole said they had no say in the matter on whether the cuts would be reversed or not.

"However, the legal instrument we used was a house resolution where all MPs voted that the cuts be effected," he said.

He said he had no control over the MPs who were threatening legal action.

Hhukwini MP Mkhululi Dlamini said he did not want the money back as he had made the sacrifice from his heart.

He however, wondered why Sithole had tabled a budget higher by almost E1 billion when he on the other hand sought salary cuts.

Sithole added that the recruitment in the security forces was to fill posts which had been left vacant and not that they had created new ones.

Last week Thursday two MPs also raised the concern over the cuts during the House of Assembly sitting.

Parastatals also want increments

LOBAMBA — While MPs are demanding their 10 per cent salary cuts reversed, some parastatals are also complaining about the zero per cent salary increments.

Finance Minister Majozi Sithole said they had received many requests from the organisations which wanted salary increments to be effected.

Meanwhile he said despite the fact that Chief Executive Officers in most parastatals earned more than ministers, there was no question that the latter were their bosses.

He said this in particular to Chief Executive Officers in Category A parastatals because they were appointed by ministers.

Sithole was responding to a question from Nkhaba MP Enock Dlamini who wanted to know who was in a more senior position between a Cabinet minister and a CEO in a parastatal.

"I ask this because I also heard of another complaining that his E80 000 monthly salary was too little and I thought to myself wow," said Dlamini.

Sithole said although their packages as ministers did not come even close to what the CEOs received they were still bosses.

"It is not because we are jealous, but they do report to us," said Sithole.

‘It’s difficult to work without permanent AGs’

LOBAMBA — Finance Minister Majozi Sithole has said it was difficult for his ministry to carry out its duties without a permanent Accountant General and Auditor General.

He said they were looking at employing permanent people for both posts, but this was in the hands of the Civil Service Commission.

Sithole said they had been in the process of recruiting an Accountant General, but ultimately this was left in the hands of the CSC. He said the officers were given six months contracts and this made working for their office difficult.

Motshane MP Robert Magongo said the current government was picky on whom to employ and said the officers were not being employed permanently because government chose whom they liked or disliked.

‘We were defaulters in jet deal’

LOBAMBA— Finance Minister Sithole said he was saddened that MPs kept on asking about the E28 million jet deposit when just last week Finance Committee chairperson Marwick Khumalo had said he would inform the House of the latest developments.

"We were the defaulters in this deal because we had already chosen the colour of the plane and its furnishings and therefore it cannot be easy," he said.

It was also disclosed that there would be no interest to government on the E31million refund for the embassy land. Sithole said the E31million had not been a loan to EssaHolmes (Pty) Ltd and therefore the money had been returned interest free.

Majozi, Mkhululi in verbal showdown

LOBAMBA — Finance Minister Majozi Sithole and Hhukwini MP Mkhululi Dlamini yesterday engaged in a verbal exchange.

This happened after Dlamini said the entire budget should not be approved because Sithole had instead increased it by about E1 billion yet salary cuts had been enforced. "This means that thea minister is laughing at us and sticking his tongue out," said Dlamini.

However, Sithole took exception to this and said Dlamini was poking fun at him.

They continued with their banter until chairperson Thandi Nxumalo asked them to proceed with other business.

However, the two later made peace after the sitting.

On another note Sithole said negotiations on salary cuts were still ongoing between government and the unions. He said they would also introduce a new staff monitoring programme.


Comments

Stomach politics, selishonile. Come 2013. Siyabonga Times Of Swaziland, we hope to get the real stuff-keep it up guys
Feb 29, 2012, 6:31 AM, Mntimandze (wachachamrs@hotmail.com)

These ministers that are asking for their 10% back really live in a hole. Should they not be more concerned about the financial woes of the entire country and finding solutions instead they are all looking out for number one. It just goes to show - asiyindzawo,labantfu basebentela emuva njenge tinkhukhu
Feb 29, 2012, 11:32 AM, anonymous (ginimadness@yahoo.com)

Kahleni malangeni kujaka imali, sharp ikhona but calani ngekusebenta on the recovery of the economy and you'll reep the Fruits of your hardwork
Feb 29, 2012, 11:32 AM, Tinkhundla Dlamini (bhozo85@yahoo.com)

Seriously, these MPs are greedy. Bese nicabanga kutsi kukhona lalitoya khona live! The king must just dissolve the circus (parliament) and start afresh, look for people who have the country's best interest at heart. Necabinet, konkhe nje! kucalwe kabusha konkhe!
Feb 29, 2012, 4:53 PM, nomphilo kunene (mphilo3@gmail.com)

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