By Sifiso Sibandze
For the first time, the Central Bank of Eswatini (CBE) has come out to refute strong allegations levelled against the institution that it is an enabler of terrorism financing in the country.
During the press conference held at the Central Bank on Friday for the announcement of the Monetary Policy stance, Mnisi was asked by the media to respond to the damning claims made by Senate President Lindiwe Dlamini.
Responding to this, the Governor said the Central Bank has never been involved in enabling terrorism financing and would never do that. He said the Bank still upholds its duty to ensure that all transactions coming through the institution is clean, adding that the bank has systems and a well-capacitated team to detect suspicious transactions.
“The Central Bank has never enabled the funding of terrorism in the country, and it will never do such. We have systems in place at the bank of detecting suspicious transactions which we then refer to law enforcement agencies for possible investigations” the Governor said.
The Governor mentioned that the bank has cases of monies from foreign countries to Eswatini Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) that were put on hold pending investigations regarding the source and purpose of funding.
It was on November 21, 2022, during a workshop for Senators organized by the Ministry of Finance when the Senate President went on a tirade and slammed the Central Bank for failing to monitor whether donor funds were used for the intended purpose.
The Senate President further accused the Central Bank of periodically receiving grant funding disguised as if it were intended for NGOs mandated to deliver certain services but part of the funds were used to fund agencies against the State.
She questioned where the CBE kept track of the funds and whether they reported these funds once they were received and if they monitored if these were spent for the intended purpose.
She also enquired what role was played by the ministry of finance in monitoring whether the funds were spent for the intended purpose or whether they ignored such reports while the funds were used to promote democratic reforms in the country.
By Sifiso Sibandze