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Corruption in recruitment of soldiers - MP

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LOBAMBA — Mafutseni MP Joseph Madonsela yesterday alleged that there was ‘corruption’ in the recruitment of soldiers from his constituency at the recently held recruitment exercise.

Madonsela alleged that the person who came first in the running exercise and had further passed his medical examination had not been accepted. He said instead the runner up was accepted at Phocweni Army Barracks and wondered how this had happened.

Madonsela was directing his questions to Acting Defence Minister Clement Dlamini during Parliament Portfolio Committee budget performance debate.

A majority of the MPs decried the recruitment exercise and said there was a lot of corruption involved.

Madonsela asked if there was a toll free number where the public could report corruption in the army because speaking to the Public Relations Officer was not good enough. Sigwe MP Sivumelwano Nxumalo asked the minister what independent investigations the ministry had embarked on because there were always complaints about the exercise.

He asked if it was possible that the so called bogus soldiers were in fact linked to other army personnel.

Lobamba MP Majahodvwa Khumalo wanted to know if a head count would be conducted would there the exact number of people that were expected which is 110 from Tinkhundla recruitment and 80 from the families of war veterans.

The MPs further wanted to know why the children of the war veterans were made to go through the running exercises as they should have been granted automatic entry. Khubuta MP Charles Myeza asked if no female recruits would be found at the Mbuluzi barracks because during the recent exercise there were no females.

On another note the MPs wondered why soldiers were always in the news for the wrong reasons. They said the soldiers should always maintain discipline and not be seen fighting with the public.

The minister is expected to return with written responses to Parliament on Monday.

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