CIVIL SERVANTS UNFIT FOR POLITICAL OFFICE UNLESS CLEAR OF DEBT

SWAZILAND: POLITICS/TIMES OF SWAZILAND/14/6/18 SABANews 1

Parliament of Swaziland in session (Pic. Apanews)

MBABANE – Civil servants who wish to run for political office in SWAZILAND have been advised to ensure they pay back monies they owe the government.

Public Service Ministry Principal Secretary EVART MADLOPHA says public workers have taken loans for study purposes, to buy cars, as advanced pay, and for a number of other reasons.

He says recovery of such money will help the Kingdom to provide efficient services to the people.

Mr MADLOPHA says it will be wise for employees planning to join the forthcoming parliamentary race to pay before nominations at their royal kraals, since the dates are already public.

He says the government has allowed civil servants to make commitments because it is aware some of them owe huge amounts they cannot pay back before the start of the elections.

The official also says many public employees have shown interest to join the legislative polls this year, with some applying even before the votes were talked about.

The TIMES OF SWAZILAND quotes him as saying they expect to receive more applications for leave of absence because many more people want to try their luck.

Civil servants wishing to take part in elections should be prepared to contribute 20 percent to the SWAZILAND National Provident Fund, as the employer will not be contributions during their leave of absence.

The government also says the aspiring candidates should submit their applications for leave of absence on time, in order to avoid inconveniences while preparing for the polls.

It says workers who fail to make it at the ballots can still notify the government and return to work because the law allows them to do, just like the successful ones can also return after FIVE years – although with the same rank.

However, the President of the NATIONAL PUBLIC SERVICE AND ALLIED WORKERS UNION says the government is oppressive to the workers.

AUBREY SIBIYA says as far as the union was concerned, civil servants should take part in the elections without being forced to make the so-called convincing commitment to their employer.

He says the authorities should not view things as if the aspiring candidates are joining the elections to generate money.

Mr SIBIYA says parliamentarians and civil servants are benefiting from ONE source, which was why his Union believes the government should continue to deduct the loans without forcing people to make commitments.

The labour leader says when civil servants get salary reviews, so do the politicians; which shows they serve ONE government, and the only difference is politicians benefit more than civil servants.

The Parliament of SWAZILAND, also known as LIBANDLA, is bicameral, comprising a lower chamber (the House of Assembly) and an upper one (the Senate).

Election is by secret ballot in a FIRST-past-the-post system of voting under which some of the members of both chambers are elected, and the King appoints the rest.

Members of both chambers serve FIVE-year terms after having run on a non-partisan basis, as political parties are banned in the Kingdom of SWAZILAND./Sabanews/cam

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