Swaziland now Eswatini is hardly known as a land where transparency and free speech enjoy much value. Now the country's High Court has helped maintain this reputation with a decision effectively closing down media investigation into the people behind Eswatini's new Farmers Bank. In Januarythe Central Bank of Eswatini brought an urgent application against the Times newspaper.
Heard by Judge Nkosinathi Maseko, the application was intended to prevent the Times from using information contained in a confidential report on the licence application of Farmers Bank.
Investigative journalist Welcome Dlamini had obtained the report, prepared by the central bank's financial regulation department, while he was working on a story about Farmers Bank. The central bank maintained that the law provided for strict security and confidentiality about all its business and that for an employee or former employee to have 'leaked' the document to the media was unlawful. Approached by Dlamini for comment about the circumstances of the licence approval, the governor of the central bank, Majozi Sithole, established that Dlamini had a copy of the report.
Sithole told him the document was strictly confidential and required Dlamini to undertake not to publish his intended report. When no undertaking was forthcoming, the central bank successfully applied for an interim order barring the newspaper from publishing. The matter was fully argued soon afterwards. In his decision, Maseko noted Sithole's claim that the planned publication was an unlawful breach of the central bank's privacy and 'would cause irreparable harm" to the central bank, Farmers Bank and to the 'integrity of the financial systems of the country'.
Confidentiality had to be preserved 'at all costs' because of the potential consequences for banking in the country 'and beyond' of any disclosure.
Such disclosure risked upsetting the banking sector's and creating 'an adverse risk with corresponding Central Banks world-wide'. The governor also argued that the matter was 'not in the public interest' and there was no reason for the public to be informed about it.
The newspaper agreed that the central bank should promote monetary stability but added it should also protect the country from 'unscrupulous business people'. Investigations into the people wanting to set up a banking business were thus surely a matter of importance and of 'utmost public interest'. Maseko was, however, unpersuaded.
The law required the work of the central bank to be highly guarded and surrounded by 'utmost secrecy and confidentiality' with criminal sanctions for any breach. He thus granted, 'with costs', a restraining interdict, and barred the paper from publishing 'information contained in a confidential report on Farmers Bank's licence application'. The result cannot have been unexpected: relations between the media and government institutions have long been strained around the issue of transparency, among others.
Late last year the Media Institute of Southern Africa Misapointed to a new report on the state of transparency in Eswatini. Misa commented, 'Withholding public information from information-seekers by government and public institutions appears to be the rule rather than the exception in Eswatini.
As a result, public complaints of lack of access to information held by government and public entities abound. What the Times intended to publish may never be known. The FCA notice says that despite repeated requests for essential information this was not supplied. The FCA was not satisfied that the proposed business was 'ready, willing and organised to comply with the requirements and standards' of the UK's regulatory system.
A body wanting to be incorporated in the UK needed to have its head office and registered office there too.
This was not the case with Asfar's firm. In the view of the FCA, the firm was not capable of being effectively supervised. It failed to provide essential information 'requested on a number of occasions'. It had also not shown its 'suitability' as 'fit and proper' to be allowed to operate in the UK, particularly in its failure to be 'open and co-operative' in its dealing with the FCA.
The exact nature of the intended business, Worldwide Central Repository, was not entirely clear from the FCA documents, but the FCA said it had applied to carry on the 'regulated activities of entering into a regulated credit agreement as lender excluding high-cost short-term credit, bill of sale loan agreement and home credit loan agreement '.
The Times also ran a story in January, just months after Farmers Bank was due to open its doors, saying it was being sued for E Maseko, who presided in the interdict case, is no stranger to cases involving press freedom.
In his former capacity as Director of Public Prosecutions he prosecuted a controversial contempt of court and media freedom case against the Nation editor Bheki Makhubu and human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko, and urged that the court should pass the 'harshest sentence' on them to deter others.
By the time the matter reached the appeal court, however, the trial judge had been arrested for corruption. And at the start of the appeal counsel announced that the DPP would not oppose the appeal, having now reached the conclusion that the conviction was 'unsupportable' and that the prosecution had failed to make out a case in the High Court.Farmers Bank strives to be an employer of choice.
We value our employees and their commitment in providing each customer with the best experience possible. Farmers Bank employs talented and qualified individuals who strive for excellence and understand the importance of delivering high quality service at every opportunity. We offer competitive wages and great benefits, including:.Eu4 crashing on launch 2019
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Courtland Southampton Pkwy, Ste D. Lakeside W. Washington St. Virginia Beach, VA Harbour View College Dr. Ste L, Suffolk, VA Smithfield S. Church Street, Smithfield, VA According to official correspondence that has been seen by the Business desk, the licence allows Farmers Bank to conduct banking business in the Kingdom of Eswatini as a commercial bank. Farmers Bank Chairman of the Board of Directors Christo Wiese, who boasts of over 20 years in the banking industry, confirmed receipt of the approval that has been issued by CBE.
He said plans were underway to start operating in the country in October or early November at the latest. Wiese said their main focus would be water and food security. Outlining what had prompted them to consider investing in the country, he explained that after a strong analysis of the economy, they had uncovered that there was an opportunity to empower emaSwati by reducing the volume of imports which account for about 70 per cent of locally consumed food produce.
Boasts Farmers Bank Chairman of the Board of Directors Christo Wiese, who boasts of over 20 years in the banking industry, confirmed receipt of the approval that has been issued by CBE. If the richest clubs and countries do what they want, it will complicate the situation.
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Arrow Left Arrow Right.Saturday hours will remain from am to 12 Noon. More of our Branch Lobbies have reopened. Click here for locations and important safety guidelines. After years of consistent growth and profitability, Farmers National Bank has become one of the best community banks in Ohio. Strategic planning, growing shareholder value, increasing profitability and utilizing best-in-class technology is how Farmers succeeds. To be the market differentiator, we are also committed to becoming the best place our associates have ever worked.
Products and processes all have their place in operating a successful business. But it is people that truly drive high performance. Therefore, Farmers is committed to supporting a high performing, collaborative culture that provides the foundation to attract and retain the best associates in banking. By investing in our team, we actually invest in our financial future.
They are intertwined. Its family-friendly approach and comradery among employees was a welcomed change. At heart, Farmers is still a humble community bank… with the talent and technology to compete with bigger banks. In our retirement plan administration division, we provide prompt and professional service to our clients and truly view them as partners. I like the fact that our employer treats us exactly the same way!
Community banking has become the exception rather than the rule these days. At Farmers, making sure our customers and, therefore, our communities are positively impacted by our presence is what makes us different. Farmers National Banc Corp. Search Careers Now. Some content requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.These functions are mandated to develop sustainable farming business amongst small holder and commercial farmers in the Kingdom of Eswatini, as well as to ensure provision of food, economic security in our communities and a well governed import, export and transitioning system of agricultural produce.
The National Marketing and Agricultural Board facilitates markets for farmers in and outside the country and assist these farmers with production, processing, storage, transportation, distribution of the produce the sale of scheduled products. Adding on to that, NAMBoard apart from being a Government advisor on the availability and demand of scheduled products, it also registers whole sale distributors, importers, and exporters of scheduled products.Sdn express
Being enabled by the Act No. So, to actualize this vision NAMBoard is achieving optimum import regulation, significant import substitution and maximum export sales by maximizing its own organizational performance effectiveness. This is done in collaboration with farmers and other relevant stakeholders in the agriculture community.
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The expected end result is an efficient commercialized Swazi production and distribution agribusiness value chain with sustainable farming practices that meet international GAP and SPSS standards.
Click Here. Seedlings Nursery. Farmer's Support. Baby vegetables. Local farmer produce. Fresh Produce on time. We move your produce. Read More. Read more. Recent Uploads. For more Reports Click here. Whats New. Farmers Support Development Read more. Encabeni Fresh Produce Read more. Inspectorate Read more.
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- Fpm 2003, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 199-212