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OUTCRY OVER E11M PROPERTY FOR NURSES’ UNION

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MBABANE – An acquisition of a property worth approximately E11.2 million was expected to bring smiles, but is said to be dividing nurses.


It is said that the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) recently bought a piece of land without the approval of its membership.


The union has over 2 000 members. An impeccable source within the union revealed that they were informed about the resolution on Tuesday during a National General Council Meeting that was held at Shosholoza Pre-school.


“The report given to us yesterday (Tuesday), said they had purchased it. They showed us some documents, but we were not privy to read through the papers. “Verbally, they told us they had concluded the deal. The property is worth E11.2 million,” the insider said.


The source said they were informed that the property which had structures, was situated around Thembelihle, in Mbabane.
Giving a brief background, the insider said around May last year, the executive suggested that the organisation should purchase property.
“However, we raised concerns that we have a plot which houses one of our projects, the Wellness Centre. We asked, ‘why don’t we develop that plot?’


response


“Their response was that, ‘it’s expensive to develop a plot, and financial institutions do not finance such projects. It was better to purchase an existing structure’. We then mandated them to scout for properties,” the source alleged.


The insider mentioned that the executive indicated that they were targeting two plots which were situated in Mbabane and Manzini.


The source alleged that about a month ago, during nurses’ day, the president announced that a plot had been purchased in Mbabane.
“It transpired that the property he was talking about was not one of the two plots they had discussed,” the source said.
Adding, the insider said a confirmation of the purchase was also made during the general council meeting on Tuesday.


Asked if they enquired from the executive why it rushed into making a purchase without reverting to the membership, the source responded: “Batsi beseku phutfuma kakhulu.”


“They said the democratic process of consulting with the membership would be too long because they would lose the deal,” the source said.


criticism


During the Tuesday meeting, the source alleged that some members of the executive openly stated that they were ready for criticism.
This did not go down well with some of the nurses’ representatives, the source alleged.


Asked if they were given an opportunity to question the acquisition, the source alleged that the matter was not given much attention.
“It was unfortunate that the financial report was not presented so that we could get a feel on how much we were expected to contribute.
“Secondly, there is a question among the membership as to how one could buy a property when they were about to exit office in the next three months?” the sourced said.


resolved


Asked what they had resolved as members, the source said they had not reached a decision yet.
However, the source said they were informed that the property would be leased out in order to generate income.
Bheki Mamba, the President of SWADNU confirmed that they just acquired the property.


However, Mamba said he was not in a position to disclose the name of the seller at the moment.
He said the property was situated in Mbabane, without giving the exact location.
“It’s true we did not engage them.  We took the decision hoping that we would explain during the general council meeting,” he said.


apologised


Mamba explained that when the council eventually sat they did explain and also apologised to the members.
He said they had previously indicated the structures they intended to purchase.
“Two were in Manzini and one in Mbabane.


‘‘Then, the general council said it would be important to view these properties first before taking decision. The reason of meeting before purchasing was that the structures looked old.”


He said what eventually happened was that they decided not to purchase any of the presented properties but instead, they bought a newly-established property.
“It is true we did not engage them because the council had not sat. Our general council meets twice a year. This is why we took the decision as the national leadership because we do have the powers,” he stated.


The president alleged that the general accepted their apology, and it approved that NEC should go ahead with the project.

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