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MBABANE – Is government feeding both parents and pupils through the schools feeding scheme?

This is if the startling allegation made by the Minister of Education and Training, Phineas Magagula, is true.
Magagula told parliamentarians that some members of school committees were looting the food items for their own use.
The minister went on to say that he had evidence to back his allegations.

“Following the many complaints received by the ministry on the misuse of these food items by some school committees, the ministry has prepared a Circular to all schools wherein school committees are requested to utilise the food for its intended purpose,” said the minister.
He said whatever food commodities were unused were for the benefit of learners and not for distribution or sale to members of the school committee. Magagula made this allegation before a stunned House of Assembly, as he insisted that he had damning evidence to back his story even though several Members of Parliament (MPs) implored him to withdraw his allegation.

This was during the adoption of the minister’s report on the progress that had been made in the intervention of food shortages in schools which hit a month ago, and government released E29 million to fix the situation. 
Nkwene MP Sikhumbuzo Dlamini took exception to this allegation, stating that the minister was insulting and attacking the school committees by placing blame on them, when it was government that had failed to deliver the food.
“Why are you insulting the school committees? Why aren’t you at least directing this allegation to head teachers because they receive the food? I have no clue why you are accusing the committees or parents,” said MP Dlamini.
Hhukwini MP Saladin Magagula also raised a concern about the alleged misuse of food items by schools committees.

“How many schools have been affected by this and what has been done about this instead of making this allegation in the House?” asked MP Saladin.
Khubuta MP Njabulo Mabuza said if the minister wanted his report adopted by the MPs, then he must remove the allegation that he had made against the school committees.
“The food is delivered to the head teachers, how then are committees involved in this?” asked Mabuza.
The MPs said it was not fair to accuse the committees because they had no way of responding to the allegations made by the minister in the House.

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