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Fire Majozi - Marwick

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LOBAMBA – Finance Minister Majozi Sithole’s political career hangs on the balance, should it be discovered that he lied about the return of the deposit for the king’s jet.

Lobamba Lomdzala MP Marwick Khumalo categorically told Sithole that should it turn out that he fooled the House of Assembly, a motion of a vote of no confidence against him would be moved.

This could result in the minister being fired.

"What would be prudent for him to do is resign. You can’t lie to Parliament…not ever. I hope what you have told this Parliament is the truth," warned Khumalo.

The MP was speaking in Parliament yesterday during the debate on Sithole’s budget speech. During the speech, Sithole informed the House that the E28 million used as a deposit for the botched attempt to purchase a private jet for the king would be returned three-fold. He said the money would now be E100 million and it would be with the Central Bank of Swaziland by the end of this month.

However, reports have since emerged that the E100 million was not a refund. DAFIN Assets Finance Limited, the company behind the E100 million is quoted as having said the money had nothing to do with the jet deposit but were donor funds targeted at the social sector. "I am worried. Last year, the minister told us that we would get back the E28 million. Now, he is telling us about E100 million. Where did this money come from and why isn’t it being transferred to the consolidated fund?" Khumalo asked.

"If the minister has lied, he should go back to Mafutseni. We shall move a vote of no confidence against him."

Khumalo, however, said as much as he was worried, he still had faith in Sithole. He said the minister seemed to be an honest man, humble and soft-spoken. As a result, Khumalo said, he did not want to believe that Sithole would deliberately lie to Parliament unless he was convinced otherwise.

Other MPs like Qedusizi Ndlovu also expressed concern about the matter and said Sithole should give the true position regarding the E28 million.

Maphalaleni MP Sicelo Dlamini even said Sithole had been brought back to cabinet to deal with the jet issue and, therefore, he should be clear about what he said.

Sithole is expected to give a response today regarding the issue.

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