10 April 2018

Swaziland: Swazi PM in Another 'Nepotism' Row

The wife of Swaziland Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini has been promoted to headteacher amid accusations of unfairness.

It is the second time in recent months a family member of the Prime Minister has been embroiled in allegations of nepotism.

The promotion of Gugu Precious Simelane, 55, who married the 75-year-old PM five months ago, was made against the Teaching Service Regulations of 1983, the Times Sunday reported (8 April 2018).

Simelane was deputy head at Ngwenya Central Primary School when she was promoted to be its headteacher. She had been at the school since January 2018.

The Times reported she filled a vacant post that had not been advertised and no other candidates were interviewed.

Teaching Service Commission Executive Secretary Mduduzi Nkambule confirmed that the post was never advertised.

The Times reported Nkambule saying, 'There was no need to advertise the vacant post at Ngwenya Central Primary.' This was, Nkambule said, because Simelane had already been previously interviewed for the position of headteacher sometime last year at another school.

This was not the first time the Prime Minister has been embroiled in controversy over suspected nepotism. In August 2017 there was controversy when his son Muziwandile Dlamini was made the General Manager Finance of the parastatal Swaziland Post and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC). The Times Sunday reported at the time internal employment policies had been 'flouted' and the vacant post was not advertised externally.

It reported, 'It was revealed that the hiring processes as stipulated by the public enterprises (control and monitoring) Act, 1989 were deliberately ignored by SPTC management.'

The PM is not the only senior figure in Swaziland under the spotlight for suspected nepotism. In February 2018 it was reported that Nothando Ntshangase, aged 31, the wife to Swaziland's Correctional Services Commissioner General Mzuthini Ntshangase, was promoted in secret from superintendent to senior superintendent, and is believed to be the youngest senior superintendent in the kingdom.


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