Correctional recruits ordered to pay E3m for food, uniform
…Some money is for Green Mamba t-shirt to be compulsorily worn during team’s official soccer matches at stadiums and mysterious transport money to these games
Recruits currently undergoing training under His Majesty’s Correctional Services (HMCS) were this week ordered to fork out over E3 million by their superiors at the Matsapha Correctional College.
Having been training at the college for close to three months now they got paid like all civil servants this month and for them this was their first pay under government’s payroll.
They were therefore briefly released from the training last Wednesday morning and depending on whether they were able to conclude the withdrawal, further on that Thursday morning to visit their various banks to each get about E8 700, which was to be paid in full to their superiors at the college.
Insiders at the college revealed to the Observer on Saturday that each of the recruits was given about three hours for the exercise since they could not just withdraw over E8 000 from ATMs, but had to go inside to the banks’ tellers for the transactions hence the banks’ queues were longer on the two days as a result of that.
This publication can reveal that the money collected, the recruits were told, will go towards paying for their meals that are provided by Matsapha based catering company Fedics Food Services with each having forked out a total of E6 000.
That means E3 500 is for the three months already exhausted at the college and E1 500 is for November as they are made to pay for the meals a month in advance. It can be further reported that E2 400 from each will go towards the recruits’ uniform while still at training while about E300 from each will go towards purchasing the Correctional Services’ soccer team Green Mamba’s Umbro t-shirt that should be compulsorily worn during the team’s official games.
More of the money, the recruits have been allegedly told, will go towards transport money to these games, but surprisingly they are ferried on Correctional Services trucks that are government owned and are fueled by government.
The college is currently housing about 350 recruits that are expected to participate in their pass-out parade that is expected to be graced by His Majesty King Mswati III at a date to be revealed next year.
It has been gathered that food alone, the Correctional Services has collected about E2 100 000 from the recruits and a further E840 000 for the uniform. The Observer on Saturday can reveal that in the next unconfirmed months, E1 500 will continue to be collected from the recruits as contributions towards their meals. It should be noted that Fedics Food Services has been engaged by the department to prepare food for the recruits.
Another situation has been considered, which is that of the police recruits also based in Matsapha, who according to our sources are called upon to pay only E700 a month for food.
What is of main concern especially to the recruits that have been made aware of the situation is that the recruits are expected to make their contributions in cash only and no receipt is in turn issued to them.
The mindboggling question therefore is: “Where does the collected money go to because it definitely does not go to government coffers as the manner of the payment does not reflect so.”
Correctional Services Public Relations Officer (PRO) Gugulethu Dlamini said there was nothing sinister about the payment of E1 500 for the meals as the recruits are the ones enjoying the meals. She said all the Correctional Services was doing was to collect the money on behalf of the catering company.
“The food is not provided by the Correctional Services, but an independent company and it is this company that charged the figure.
What is also important is that the recruits are the ones that chose the menu and it was not shoved down their throats. They could have chosen a menu that is cheaper than this one, but it was their preference.
What is happening now is that there was an arrangement that the caterers provide the food on credit for the first months they are in training and they are now paying that back,” she stated.
DISTANCES HIMSELF: Public Service Principal Secretary (PS) Evart Madlopha.