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MBABANE – In society, money drives pretty much everything. It is this much sought-after commodity that has driven Matsapha Town Council employees to report their employer to the Central Bank of Swaziland.
The employees are complaining that they are being cheated of their money through a loan scheme that was initiated by the Town Council.

Employees who spoke to the Times SUNDAY accused council of deducting money from their salaries in respect of the loan scheme but this money was not being remitted to Standard Bank as the financial institution that is responsible for financing the scheme.
“For example, when you look at your pay slip at the end of the month you find it is reflected that E450 has been deducted for purposes of repaying your loan. However, when you go to the bank, you find that either E400 or nothing at all was remitted,” one of the employees said.

The employee said this happened to most of his colleagues so much that they then decided to approach the bank to find out what was going on.
“To our surprise, the bank told us that the money did not belong to it but council. This was strange because we don’t believe council has the powers to lend out money. Where does council get these powers and to who does the money we pay go to? These are the questions that we had,” the employee related.

The employees’ other gripe is that the scheme was not properly introduced to them but it was imposed by management.
The council’s acting Chief Executive Officer Lucky Sukati confirmed knowledge of the employees’ grievances and said the loan scheme started operating in October 2013 having been initiated by council for the employees’ benefit.
At the time the scheme was initiated, the CEO was Gciniwe Fakudze who left the council after 13 years and joined new mobile telecommunications company Swazi Mobile as Chief Customer Executive.

When Sukati was asked how the Central Bank had intervened in the operations of the loan scheme, he said: “The Central Bank corresponded with Standard Bank as the institution that council signed the MoU with for operating the scheme. The bank maybe is in a better position to state what the Central Bank instructed them to do in the scheme operation.”
He said Standard Bank grants loans to Matsapha employees, which the employees pay through a deduction from source by the employer.


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: Cost cutting strategy
Should have government consulted emaSwati before introducing the cost cutting strategy?