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MBABANE – The circumstances that led to Prince David being paid a monthly package of close to E100 000 as UNESWA Council Chairman have been laid bare.

The University of Eswatini Registrar, Dr Salebona Simelane, is said to have informed a House of Assembly Select Committee that in terms of the University Act, the chairman of council does not get a monthly salary but, like any other council, ought to get a sitting allowance, travelling alowance and a retainer. He reportedly said Prince David’s predecessor was paid a monthly salary of E30 000 and the justification of this was that the chairman would act as a liaison officer on all issues of the university, which needed the attention of the Chancellor (His Majesty the King) or the prime minister (PM). The registrar is said to have indicated that since other chairpersons of statutory Boards are paid a monthy salary, the university management then decided to pay a monthly salary of E30 000 to the chairman of council, and sitting allowances would be paid for every sitting of council, with the retainer fee fused into the monthy salary.


The chairman would also be allocated a car and a commutted car allowance would not be paid. However, the registrar reportedly informed the select committee that when Prince David was appointed in 2019, he was not satisfied with the remuneration package of the chairman of council. “He insisted that the management of the university should make a comparison with the other chairpersons appointed by the King who are serving in other Boards and commissions. The monthy salary of the chairman was increased to E68 000, and a further 25 per cent of his basic salary to cover car alowance, because he did not want to use the car provided by the university. The total amount the chairman of council gets as monthy salary is approximately E95 000, inclusive of all other allowances,” Simelane reportedly told the select committee. The registrar is said to have also informed the committee that there is no stipulated term of office for the chairman of council as he serves at the pleasure of the appointing authority.; with the previous chairman (Prince Phinda) having served for almost 30 years.

Meanwhile, another person who appeared before the committee and has been idfentified as Witness X after pleading to remain anonymous, reportedly said he noticed a change on the issues of salaries at UNESWA, sitting allowances of council being escalated and chairman of council allegedly earning a salary of about E98 208 monthly, plus housing allowance.


Witness X told the committee that sittings of council are regulated by university’s statutes and the PEU Act. “There ought to be six sittings per year. Even auditors made an audit finding that the sittings far exceed the stipulated sittings of the council. Sitting allowance is E2 720 per sitting and there is also a monthy retainer fee of E2 600 paid to the council member,” the witness informed the committee. He is said to have said there was no legal instrument in the form of a PEU circular authorising the payment of such a salary to the chairman.  Witness X told the committee that there was a memorandum circulated instructing that the chairman of council be paid such an amount as a monthly salary.