The Swaziland Government sold off maize worth US$3 million that had been donated to the kingdom by Japan to feed the near-starving population.
A report presented to the Swazi Parliament on Monday (11 March 2013) revealed that 11,498 metric tonnes of maize had been donated by Japan, but had been sold through the National Maize Corporation.
About one person in three in Swaziland is malnourished according to a report called Poverty in a Decade of Slow Economic Growth: Swaziland in the 2000s, published in 2011 by the Swazi Ministry of Economic Planning and Development. They rely on foreign food aid.
The Swazi Observer newspaper reported that members of parliament expressed disappointment that while the people in the communities have no food, government was able to sell maize that was donated to assist those people.
This was during the debate of the annual performance report of the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development.
Ngwemphisi MP Veli Shongwe said it showed the government did not care for the people.
The newspaper reported, ‘The sale of the maize is revealed in the annual performance report of the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development where it states that 11,498 metric tonnes of maize was donated by the Japanese government in 2011 and was sold through the National Maize Corporation. The ministry reported that E24 million was made from the sale and the funds were deposited in a special account at the Central Bank.’
The government has still to respond to the report.
PM GETS IT WRONG ON POVERTY