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CENTRAL BANK PROBES SWEET

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MBABANE – Following the online petition by SWEET members, demanding to get back money they paid through savings and buying shares, the Central Bank of Eswatini has confirmed that it was conducting investigations into the fund.

Last Monday, this publication reported that members of the Swaziland Women Economic Empowerment Trust (SWEET) launched an online petition and demanded that the people responsible for taking their monies should be taken to task, and their monies be returned. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Thuli Dladla, who was the liaison officer, was quoted having confirmed that she was aware of the history of the investment.

Explained

Dladla explained that there was a delay in paperwork by Farmers Bank, which was the mother body of the company (SWEET), and that there was about E27 million at Swaziland Building Society which had the members’ names. She said the Central Bank of Eswatini had records of the members who had joined the fund and was currently investigating the matter. Dladla assured members who invested that they would get their dues once the Central Bank had concluded the investigations.

In a press statement released yesterday by Central Bank Governor Majozi Sithole, he said the bank jointly with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) confirmed that a joint team had been established by the two regulatory authorities. Sithole highlighted that these were launched to look into the affairs of SWEET Trust Fund and its affiliates. “This was after the regulatory authorities received complaints from some members of SWEET that the offices in Manzini have been closed without due notice to members,” said the governor. He elaborated that the joint CBE/FSRA team was currently on site, investigating the operations of SWEET and its affiliates and the reason that SWEET offices remain closed. Sithole revealed that the evaluation of SWEET affairs and activities were being undertaken in the backdrop of SWEET mobilising share contributions and savings deposits from members of the public, and were consistent with the pertinent provisions of Section 39 of the Financial Institutions Act (2005).

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