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SNCAC lets SWAMA off the hook

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MANZINI – The Swaziland National Arts and Culture Council (SNCAC) has opted to forget about the SWAMA financial report.

The council’s CEO, Stanley Dlamini said as a council they had opted to forget about the Swaziland Music Association’s (SWAMA) accounts because they (association) had not been able to furnish them with their financial reports for two consecutive years.

"Their accounts have been cancelled. We will call a meeting and formally inform them.

"We will then have a programme that will develop and monitor their association. We also want to inform them on how we will release funds to them in the future," explained Dlamini.

The association held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on August 8 at the Greater Alpha restaurant in Manzini. The association had been facing problems which had forced them to cancel two previous meetings. Their first meeting was scheduled for March 28 but it did not take off because a quorum wasn’t formed. Two weeks later, another meeting was scheduled but it had to be cancelled again because of the same problem. In the ‘successful’ meeting Reverend Johannes Manikela was chosen as the new president of the association. The meeting was attended by more than 20 members.

At the meeting, a financial report was scheduled to be delivered by the association’s Treasurer, Machawe Dlamini. However, his father, David Dlamini who is also the associations PRO said: "Machawe is very ill. He has been in and out of hospital and could not compile the financial reports."

Complained

What was even more surprising at the meeting is that the financial report for the year 2008/ 2009 was also unavailable. The association complained that their reports had been taken by Arts and Culture for auditing at Fips, but they had still not received any feedback.

SNCAC’s CEO said they knew Machawe was ill. "They should not make any excuses. We need a proper explanation. We have been informed that the treasurer is ill, but it is not true that he has been ill for the whole year. Further, their constitution has provisions for what should happen should a member of the executive fall ill. They know that they must co- operate, but they have not done that. I made a decision to write off their account because of their inconsistency," he said

Tones

He said the association has a constitution that it is obliged to follow. He added that it was not their duty (SNCAC) to audit the association’s paperwork, but they only made the provision for the associations’ paperwork to be audited.

The fact that there was no financial report did not go down well with some of the association’s members during the meeting.

"The constitution is very old. It’s a 1978 edition and really it needs amendment," said Ras Mellow, one of the members.

The PRO said some of the provisions in the constitution had been amended, just that they had not been formally changed.

When asked on how they felt about the council’s decision to write off their accounts the PRO said he knew nothing about this. "We have not been informed about this decision by Arts and Culture. They took our reports a long time ago and have still not returned them.

Strictly

"They even refuse to show us the auditing company, Fips so that we can at least go there to collect the reports ourselves. As an association, we do not know how we have performed for the past two years because we have not seen our financial reports. We do not understand why they have done this without informing us and do not know how we are going to work without any money," he said.

Dlamini (PRO) further said the only money they received from Arts and Culture was E2 500 every three months. He said this money was strictly for administrative purposes. He added that Arts and Culture had made themselves in charge of paying for any gigs that they (artists) had. "They are the ones with receipts and thus we have no reports for that because we do not know any of the charges," he explained.

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