The gap between rich and poor is widening and the kingdom faces ‘an unprecedented economic crisis’: these were two of the main concerns of Finance Minister Neal Rijkenberg in his national budget for Swaziland where the ‘economic outlook remains subdued’. He went on to threaten to cut public service jobs if workers did not fall into line and accept his programme to reduce debts.
Meanwhile, the Auditor General Timothy Matsebula in his annual report stated the finances of the Government were in such a mess that billions of emalangeni could not be accounted for.
Public service across Swaziland are in freefall with hospitals and clinics short of vital drugs. Schools are unable to feed vulnerable children. All because the government has not paid suppliers.
These were some of the major themes from Swaziland over the first three months of 2019 and published in Swaziland: Striving for Freedom: volume 33, the latest quarterly compilation from the pages of Swazi Media Commentary. It is available to download free-of-charge on Scribd.
The international spotlight has been shone on Swaziland, where King Mswati III rules as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. The kingdom continues to be riddled with corruption, according to Transparency International. Freedom House once again declared Swaziland ‘not free’ in its annual Freedom in the World Index.
Closer to home, the Law Society of Swaziland Secretary Thulani Maseko criticised recent appointments of judges, saying there was no transparency in the choices and the Swazi Constitution was ignored.
Swazi Media Commentary has been published online since 2007 and is updated most weekdays. It is operated entirely by volunteers and receives no financial backing from any organisation. It is devoted to providing information and commentary in support of human rights in Swaziland.