STATEMENT BY H.E THE RT HON PRIME MINISTERMR. AMBROSE MANDVULO DLAMINI

AT THE FAREWELL FUNCTION OF FORMER NATIONAL COMMISSIONER OF THE ROYAL ESWATINI POLICE SERVICE AND CEREMONIAL HANDOVER OF OFFICE

MAVUSO TRADE CENTRE, MANZINI

FRIDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2019

 

Your Royal Highnesses

Honourable Ministers

Regional Administrator

National Commissioner & All Ranks of the Royal Eswatini Police Service

Former National Commissioner – Senator Isaac M. Magagula and members of the Magagula family

Army Commander

Commissioner General of His Majesty’s Correctional Services

Former Senior Police Officers

All categories of the Royal Eswatini Police Service Key Stakeholders

Members of the media

Invited Guests

Ladies & Gentlemen

 

 

It is my honour and pleasure, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government and as Minister of Police, to be part of this Ceremony to officially bid farewell to former National Commissioner, now Senator, Isaac Magagula, as well as witness the Ceremonial Handover of Office to the new National Commissioner, in line with the dictates of Police culture and practice.

Today’s Ceremony is of special significance to the Police Service and its stakeholders, as we celebrate a true policing icon and giant in Magagula, who served the organization with great distinction for over 46 years, making a massive contribution towards its growth and development.

Nine of the inspiring 46 years of service, were served in the position of Commissioner, which was later upgraded to National Commissioner. Magagula was a true Police professional who espoused all the qualities of a resourceful police officer.

I have had several interactions with Magagula in both my previous and current positions where I was drawn by his passion for policing and his clear vision of leading the Police Service to professional levels in its service delivery frameworks. It was this drive and visible commitment that would convince myself and other contemporaries in the business sector, to support various policing initiatives within the spirit of the “Business Against Crime” philosophy.

Magagula is credited with the introduction of innovative strategies to bolster Police service delivery systems for the enhancement of safety and security in Eswatini. One such strategy was the “Lunyazi” method of operation whose rationale was to foster speed and urgency in Police crime response mechanisms.

 

Lunyazi was later complemented by the “Siyavutsa Bhe” operational philosophy, which laid emphasis on zero tolerance to crime and wayward behaviour on the roads. These strategies laid a solid foundation for the sustenance of safety and security in the country, which remains central to Government’s on-going efforts to spur socio-economic growth and stability.

The creation of Targeted Operational Units within the Police Service focussing on specific forms of criminality such as violent crimes and organized crimes is one legacy that Magagula can be proud of.

Another policing legacy of the former National Commissioner worthy of being flagged was that of forging partnerships with a wide-range of stakeholders in the safety and security value chain. This was based on the reality that no Police Service can be effective working in isolation. Stakeholders that were targeted include; communities, Traditional Leadership Authorities, Community Police, Schools, Churches and members of the Business Community, among others.

What is encouraging is that these partnerships continue to be vibrant to this day and will benefit the Police Service for many years to come.

 

The strengthening of partnerships also saw the signing of Memorandums of Understanding with Police Services of our neighbouring countries Mozambique and South Africa. Such partnerships enable all three to join forces in combating cross-border crimes such as Stock Theft, Drug Trafficking and Trafficking in illicit goods among others. This is crucial in our quest as a country to disrupt the shadow economy and revitalize sustainable economic growth. We look forward to the existing collaboration between the Kingdom and the neighbouring Police Services being maintained.

We further note and commend Magagula for inculcating a culture of learning in the Police Service and also leading from the front in that regard, as he also personally pursued academic enlightment.  An Illustration of the success of the culture of learning he sowed is the ever-growing numbers of Police officers who acquire qualifications in various fields from the country’s tertiary institutions and elsewhere.

Continuous learning is central in policing today’s complex and dynamic society, as well as tackling the numerous emerging sophisticated crimes and allied social ills. The keenness of the ex-National Commissioner to improve the training and academic profile of Police officers, is further evidenced by the integral role he played in the process to have the Police College upgraded to an Academy, that is at par with other institutions of higher learning in the country.

He was at the forefront of engaging the University of Eswatini (UNESWA) to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Training Partnership with the Royal Eswatini Police Service, wherein the modalities of the on-going flagship Diploma in Police Science Programme are entailed. This a great milestone in the quest to professionalize and modernize the Police Service, as well as instil the culture of excellence.

Instilling the culture of excellence in the operational and administrative frameworks of not just the country’s Armed Forces but the entire Government machinery, is one of the Priority areas of the Government Strategic Road-Map 2018-2023.

I take this opportunity to pass my gratitude to the Magagula family for supporting and allowing him to serve the nation with distinction. I have no doubt you gave him all the strength and lift to execute this task with the full knowledge that he has a stable family to lean on in challenging and good times.

May I, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, once again congratulate and thank Magagula for his exemplary leadership and selfless service to the Police Service and the country. It is our hope that you will continue to share the vast knowledge and experience acquired over the years to those now forming the leadership of the Police Service, as well as be an Ambassador of the Police Service in the Legislature.

It therefore gives me pleasure Mtfombeni to deservedly award you with a Certificate of Meritorious Police Leadership, in recognition of your selfless service to the Police Service over four decades.

Thank you. May God bless us all.

STATEMENT BY THE RT HON PRIME MINISTER,

H.E. AMBROSE MANDVULO DLAMINI

AT THE PUBLIC FILING OF INCOME TAX RETURNS 2019 

CABINET OFFICES, MBABANE

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Honourable Ministers

Eswatini Revenue Authority Commissioner General, Management and Staff

Senior Government officials

Representatives of the Business Community

Members of the media

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is my honour to join you here today to publicly submit my personal income tax return for the year ended 30 June 2019, in compliance with the Kingdom of Eswatini’s Income Tax Order of 1975 as amended.

Traditionally, I would have visited the Eswatini Revenue Authority offices to deliver my income tax return. However, the Revenue Authority has made things easier for all Emaswati who have access to internet to simply submit their returns in the comfort of their offices or homes.

The activity today is an attestation of the Eswatini Revenue Authority drive to modernize revenue mobilization in line with their vision of 100% voluntary compliance towards a better Kingdom of Eswatini.

It can be recalled that when the Eswatini Revenue Authority started the online filing initiative in 2015, its focus was only those businesses registered for the Value Added Tax (VAT). It is gratifying that the Eswatini Revenue Authority has made great strides in ensuring that all major tax types and taxpayer segments are accommodated as part of this improvement. In the current year, companies and individuals cannot only submit their returns online, but this platform allows them to view statements and lodge queries.

It is however disheartening to learn that the level of compliance for returns filing for income tax is at 46.7%, which is too low, compared to 63.8% and 85.1% for Pay As You Earn and VAT, respectively. The online platform we have just witnessed today will surely enhance our filing compliance level, and I therefore encourage all individuals and businesses to contact the Eswatini Revenue Authority and register for the e-Tax platform.

It should be a sense of pride and a pledge of support to the continuous development of our country for all Emaswati to pay tax. These are the funds utilised by Government to provide public services that enhance the standard of living for citizens and set us on a trajectory of sustained economic growth and stability. Such services include; free primary education, public infrastructure, health, social welfare and emergency relief, among many others.

I am reliably informed that online filing is compulsory in some jurisdictions and the Eswatini Revenue Authority has made it compulsory only for Large Taxpayers in the current year.

I must say, with the advent of fourth industrial revolution we have to align ourselves as country to reap its benefits, failing which our development will be curtailed by the massive changes it brings forth. This will not only improve tax compliance, but also our rating in the World Bank’s Ease of doing Business Index as our target is to be in the top 10 in Africa to attract meaningful investment in order to grow our economy in line with our Strategic Roadmap.

It is worth reminding the public that filing of returns is one aspect of tax compliance and the main part of the chain is the payment compliance. In this regard, may I thank all those individuals and entities who consistently submit and make their tax payments on time. We sincerely appreciate them for honouring their legal obligation for the sustainability of our beautiful Kingdom.

Having said that, the rate at which the country’s tax debt is increasing is a cause of serious concern. As the end of the Fiscal Year 2018/19, the tax debt increased by approximately 31% to E4.54 Billion from E3.46 Billion in 2017/18. This is a result of non-payment of liabilities from returns submitted for various tax types including income taxes, Pay As You Earn and VAT.

May I implore the Eswatini Revenue Authority to embark on a campaign to ensure that the tax debt is substantially reduced in line with its domestic resource mobilization plans. To all those taxpayers who still owe the State, I encourage them to present themselves to the Eswatini Revenue Authority and honour their legal obligations, because not doing so is not only depriving the country growth opportunities, but may have negative consequences for their businesses. Paying tax is mandatory and not optional.

As I conclude, may I pass Government’s sincere gratitude to all partners who continue to support Eswatini Revenue Authority in dealing with complex revenue mobilization issues. I can mention in particular the International Monetary Fund (IMF), African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) and the World Customs Organization.

May I once again, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, encourage all individuals and businesses who are preparing to submit their returns for the year ended 30 June 2019 to register for e-Tax with the Revenue Authority and submit their tax returns on time and online.

Thank you.

GOVERNMENT OF THE KINGDOM OF ESWATINI

COAT OF ARMS

PRIME MINISTER’S STATEMENT

13 November 2019

Government wishes to emphasize that the continued attack on His Majesty the King in relation to the purchase of vehicles particularly the Rolls Royce fleet is misinformed. These vehicles were purchased privately and not through the public purse. No money from the National Budget went to the purchase of these cars.

Government takes full responsibility of the purchase of the BMW VIP and escort vehicles. As previously stated, the purchase of this fleet is in line with Government policy to replace cars after five years. Most of the VIP and escort vehicles being replaced now are 11 years old and others are no longer roadworthy. Older vehicles cost Government substantially in repairs. Government saves a lot of money from having a newer fleet because it comes with a warranty and service plan.

Government receives the public criticism regarding the purchase of the vehicles given the current financial situation in the country.  It is worth noting that the decision to replace the fleet was taken in July 2018 before austerity measures were put in place. A commitment was made with the supplier at that time hence the agreement could not be reversed now as doing so could lead to litigation which would come with adverse consequences for Government.

To this end, Government has been consistent in implementing the austerity measures and remains committed to doing so until our economy improves. We believe that Government is on the right track to achieve this, and would like to thank the public for the support we have been given since austerity measures were put in place in the past year.

Government has a Strategic Roadmap in place that serves as the master plan for all efforts towards improving our economy. It would be in the best interest of the country for all of us to be prepared to work together to ensure successful implementation of this strategy because it is at the axis of the socio-economic evolution of this country. We need to unite to uplift the standard of living for all Emaswati. This is no time to grow apart as a Nation.

Government appreciates the loyalty and commitment of the Nation particularly Civil Servants who have continued to work and service the Nation. We would like to appeal to all tertiary institutions to understand that the delay in paying allowances for Government sponsored students was caused by the transition from cheques to modern modes of monetary transactions - not cashflow challenges.

Government will continue to take Health, Education, Youth and the Elderly with the seriousness they all deserve despite the current financial constraints.  Government has been able to save from the Elderly Grant Verification Exercise it carried out early this year. It is therefore worth mentioning that:

  • Elderly grants will be increased to E500 from E400 a month.
  • Disability grants will increase from E180 to E280
  • Government is committed to ensuring that civil servants get their Cost of Living Adjustment in April next year. Pensioners will soon get their Cost of Living Adjustment.
  • Government sponsored students have already been paid E30 million as allowance for the past three months and will get their book allowance before the end of the month.
  • English will remain compulsory in schools but will no longer be a passing subject.
  • The Youth Fund Board will soon be finalizing a second round of business start-up funding with the first round disbursed in March this year having already created 190 jobs.
  • Government has availed a loan guarantee scheme to the value of E140 million for SME financing that local SME’s can now apply for.
  • The Ministry of Public Works and Transport is establishing a Road Agency Fund to ensure all our roads are properly maintained.
  • A sum of E82.2 million has been released to the Rural Development Fund.
  • Government has released all funds budgeted for medicines to the Ministry of Health to ensure consistent supply to the end of the financial year.
  • Government will provide a 50% subsidy to about 5800 farmers of maize, beans and sorghum who have applied for the Farm Input Subsidy Programme. This subsidy covers the purchase of seeds, fertilizer and lime.
  • Tractor hire services have been made available for all farmers for this farming season.

However, we note that opportunists have taken advantage of the current situation to ridicule the Head of State through misinformation that serves their own agendas. Government notes the proliferation of misguided utterances on social media and international media forums and would like to advise Emaswati to refuse to be drawn by elements that intend to destabilise the peace synonymous with our Kingdom.

We respect and recognize the rights of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. These rights do not extend to hate speech, inciting violence or supporting organisations that have been proscribed for terrorist activities in the Kingdom.

Any persons considering taking part in protest action should ensure that they do not violate the Suppression of Terrorism Act of 2008 as amended, or the Public Order Act of 2017 or any other law. Violations of the law will be prosecuted.

It is the responsibility of all Emaswati to respect and protect the integrity of the King and Ingwenyama as Head of State. Government will not tolerate statements that are demeaning to the person of His Majesty and the institution of the Monarchy. We appeal to all Emaswati to always project the respect for which we are proudly known for as we have no other country but Eswatini. Currently the Nation is in the season of Incwala where we expect all Emaswati to respect our tradition.

His Majesty’s Government is committed to protecting the peace and stability Eswatini has always been known for globally. We shall always be open to advice and criticism when our decisions are challenged.

 

Mr. Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini                                  

Prime Minister       

Kingdom of Eswatini

STATEMENT BY THE RT HON PRIME MINISTER,

H.E. AMBROSE MANDVULO DLAMINI

AT THE PUBLIC FILING OF INCOME TAX RETURNS 2019 

CABINET OFFICES, MBABANE

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Honourable Ministers

Eswatini Revenue Authority Commissioner General, Management and Staff

Senior Government officials

Representatives of the Business Community

Members of the media

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is my honour to join you here today to publicly submit my personal income tax return for the year ended 30 June 2019, in compliance with the Kingdom of Eswatini’s Income Tax Order of 1975 as amended.

Traditionally, I would have visited the Eswatini Revenue Authority offices to deliver my income tax return. However, the Revenue Authority has made things easier for all Emaswati who have access to internet to simply submit their returns in the comfort of their offices or homes.

The activity today is an attestation of the Eswatini Revenue Authority drive to modernize revenue mobilization in line with their vision of 100% voluntary compliance towards a better Kingdom of Eswatini.

It can be recalled that when the Eswatini Revenue Authority started the online filing initiative in 2015, its focus was only those businesses registered for the Value Added Tax (VAT). It is gratifying that the Eswatini Revenue Authority has made great strides in ensuring that all major tax types and taxpayer segments are accommodated as part of this improvement. In the current year, companies and individuals cannot only submit their returns online, but this platform allows them to view statements and lodge queries.

It is however disheartening to learn that the level of compliance for returns filing for income tax is at 46.7%, which is too low, compared to 63.8% and 85.1% for Pay As You Earn and VAT, respectively. The online platform we have just witnessed today will surely enhance our filing compliance level, and I therefore encourage all individuals and businesses to contact the Eswatini Revenue Authority and register for the e-Tax platform.

It should be a sense of pride and a pledge of support to the continuous development of our country for all Emaswati to pay tax. These are the funds utilised by Government to provide public services that enhance the standard of living for citizens and set us on a trajectory of sustained economic growth and stability. Such services include; free primary education, public infrastructure, health, social welfare and emergency relief, among many others.

I am reliably informed that online filing is compulsory in some jurisdictions and the Eswatini Revenue Authority has made it compulsory only for Large Taxpayers in the current year.

I must say, with the advent of fourth industrial revolution we have to align ourselves as country to reap its benefits, failing which our development will be curtailed by the massive changes it brings forth. This will not only improve tax compliance, but also our rating in the World Bank’s Ease of doing Business Index as our target is to be in the top 10 in Africa to attract meaningful investment in order to grow our economy in line with our Strategic Roadmap.

It is worth reminding the public that filing of returns is one aspect of tax compliance and the main part of the chain is the payment compliance. In this regard, may I thank all those individuals and entities who consistently submit and make their tax payments on time. We sincerely appreciate them for honouring their legal obligation for the sustainability of our beautiful Kingdom.

Having said that, the rate at which the country’s tax debt is increasing is a cause of serious concern. As the end of the Fiscal Year 2018/19, the tax debt increased by approximately 31% to E4.54 Billion from E3.46 Billion in 2017/18. This is a result of non-payment of liabilities from returns submitted for various tax types including income taxes, Pay As You Earn and VAT.

May I implore the Eswatini Revenue Authority to embark on a campaign to ensure that the tax debt is substantially reduced in line with its domestic resource mobilization plans. To all those taxpayers who still owe the State, I encourage them to present themselves to the Eswatini Revenue Authority and honour their legal obligations, because not doing so is not only depriving the country growth opportunities, but may have negative consequences for their businesses. Paying tax is mandatory and not optional.

As I conclude, may I pass Government’s sincere gratitude to all partners who continue to support Eswatini Revenue Authority in dealing with complex revenue mobilization issues. I can mention in particular the International Monetary Fund (IMF), African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) and the World Customs Organization.

May I once again, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, encourage all individuals and businesses who are preparing to submit their returns for the year ended 30 June 2019 to register for e-Tax with the Revenue Authority and submit their tax returns on time and online.

Thank you.

MINISTRY OF PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORT

 

PRESS STATEMENT

Escort vehicles

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport is taking this opportunity to inform the public that it has taken delivery of a fleet of cars and motorcycles for escort duties.

The process to replace the existing fleet started in 2016, consistent with the prevailing Government policy of replacing Government vehicles after five years.

The purchasing of the fleet went through the tender process in line with Government policy. An order was made to the manufacturer in July 2018 at the finalization of the tender process.

Chief Ndlaluhlaza Ndwandwe

Minister of Public Works and Transport

08 November 2019

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