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MBABANE – Government spent about E5.9 million in preparations for the official opening of the King Mswati III International (KM3) Airport.

The money was paid to various suppliers who provided, services that were deemed a necessity that made the event the befitting celebration it became.
The airport was officially opened by His Majesty the King during a ceremony that attracted scores of people.
This was on March 7, 2014.

This was the day the king unveiled the name of the infrastructure, which government named after him, amid cheers, from the thousands of people who were part of the event.
Government seemingly pulled out all stops and made sure the event was a success.
Documents the Times SUNDAY has in its possession confirm that E1.2 million was spent on the hiring of a jet that landed at the airport.
The aircraft was not seen at close range by most of the guests who were at Sikhuphe. This reporter was also there.

The Boeing 737- 200 landed, parked for a few hours thereafter, took off again, to wherever it had come from.
According to information from various websites, this variant of aircraft was phased out in the United States of America in March 2008, after 40 years of service.

Very few Swazis had an opportunity to see the aircraft at the opening of the airport because it landed during the height of the festivities which were held about 500 metres from the airport.
Also, due to the fact that most people were focused on the celebrations, the aircraft quietly landed and left the new airport.
According to records this newspaper has in its possession, the plane was rented from a company called Antroma.

Antroma is the same South African company that was awarded a contract worth E35 million per year, without an open tender.
The company was to provide, among other things, loading and offloading luggage bags from aircraft at the new King Mswati III International Airport.
The contract was specifically for ground handling services, a service which most airlines usually do for themselves, without outsourcing.

This particular spending raised questions on why so much money was being spent on one company.
Questions remain over the payment of this huge amount of taxpayers’ money because a sum of E118 000 was also paid to Swaziland Airlink to be part of the festivities on the day.
Swaziland Airlink flew in its Embraer 135 Jet.

The aircraft took some of the people who were in attendance on a joyride that lasted a few minutes in the air.
A company called Scan Air was also hired to provide an air show in the event.

Government spent E250 683 for the acrobats of some planes during the opening of the event.
Other expenditures for the event included a E45 600 cake, that was supplied by Premier Swazi Bakeries.
Government also spent E200 000 on mobile toilets that were used in the event. These were supplied by a company called Sans Projects.
Another company called Sarmophous was paid E225 150 for providing a pongee. According to information sourced from the internet, a pongee is silk of a slightly uneven weave made from filaments of wild silk woven in natural tan colour.

The marquee tent, government hired a company called Exclusive Décor Designs to provide decorations of the section of the tent that sat very important people (VIPs).
The documents suggest that for catering services, government paid Sun International Hotel not less than E686 840 to provide delicacies for guests. In promoting the event, government spent over E1.6 million.
This money was paid to a company called Media Space. Its duties were defined as conducting public relations and event management services for the one-day event.

Comments (2 posted):

Mtolotolo on 03/08/2014 14:37:34
Kumosiwa imali ngemabomu lapha.its a tip of an iceberg.
Realist on 04/08/2014 11:55:33
And then it closed down the very same day because E3 billion later, there's no taxiway, no hangar, no vvip terminal and no planes yet.

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