Over E900 000 was collected during dinner - Masiko
According to the organiser of the dinner, Masiko Dlamini, who was appointed Chairman of the committee that was established in 2014 to work with the ministry in mobilising funds and operationalising the fund, the money that was pledged and collected on the night of the dinner was over E900 000.
Dlamini, who is also a Manzini based businessman, said the ministry was responsible for collecting the money that was donated and pledged by the Manzini business community and Their Majesties. “The King pledged E300 000 while the Queen Mother promised about E200 000. The busines s c ommunity t oget her wit h Emazinyane pledged about E400 000. We went to the King to thank the gift afterwards and the ministry reported that it had already collected over E200 000 from the pledges.
We were of the idea that these funds were going to be loaned to the street vendors but the King said that the money should be used for a projects such as a commercial structure where all the vendors could be accommodated,” he said Similar sentiments were shared by the then minister of commerce industry and trade Gideon Dlamini, who said Their Majesties’ contributions alone amounted to half a million.
“The pledges from royalty amounted to E500 000 because the Queen Mother Indlovukazi pledged E200 000 while the King pledged E300 000 and they promised to contribute once the fund had been formalised and
active. I am not sure how much we collected from the business community but we opened a bank account, where we deposited it. Some of those who had pledged had not submitted the money. Cabinet had instructed that an organisation be established and registered. I’m not sure whether it was registered or not,” said the former minister.
Dlamini (Masiko) said they were hindered by the ministry from proceeding with their mandate and could not report to Their Majesties as they were told they needed to be gazetted to access the funds. He added that the committee was reappointed to office and its new Chairman is Philemon Mnisi. He said they had complied a strategic plan on the project that is to be constructed for the informal traders, which is yet to be submitted to the King. Mnisi when called said the former chairman was the right person to talk to regarding the matter, stating that he was engaged in some meetings.
Masiko Dlamini said the King had ordered the committee in collaboration with the ministry of commerce industry and trade to report on progress on their task on a monthly basis.