2 May 2017

Swaziland: Corruption in Swazi Army Recruiting

Corruption in army recruitment in Swaziland has been exposed with at least 40 recruits expelled during basic training.

Among allegations circulating in newspapers in the kingdom is that top army officers were bribed. Families are reported to have sold livestock and other belongings to get their men in uniform.

The Swazi News reported on Saturday (29 April 2017) that corrupt practices had been known about for several years, but this was the first time that recruits had been expelled.

The Times of Swaziland reported that about 40 recruits were shown the exit door from the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) Infantry School in Mbuluzi on Thursday. It said recruits had failed to prove that they used the legal route to be recruited into the military.

The Swazi Observer reported the army said action was taken following complaints from throughout Swaziland 'about abnormalities which happened during the recruitment exercises'.

In February 2017, during the recruitment drive it was reported that several men who tried to cheat during exercises were tortured by army personnel. The Army was recruiting 495 additional soldiers from across the kingdom, ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch.

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