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Government of Eswatini hiding behind Cash flow Challenges.
I do not normally put my feelings and opinion when writing, but today I couldn’t help but grab my laptop and practice my right guaranteed by section 25 of the Swazi Constitution or should I say the Eswatini constitution. I honestly do not know which one is the constitution referred to.
Let me start by asking this question. Is the government of Eswatini experiencing some cash flows? The answer is YES and before you even kill me let me justify this by reminding you that the Minister of Finance publicly confessed to government being broke. I sometimes think that this was a card designed for avoiding adjusting the Cost of Living for public servants. Then I remember that the Phalala Fund whose objectives is to assists deserving Emaswati with limited access to specialist medical care is collapsing because of the so-called cash flow challenges.
I had a pleasure of listening last week’s Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA) program aired by the Eswatini Broadcasting Information and Services (EBIS) Wednesday at 6:15 where Emaswati asked the SRA authorities what government does with the money collected as taxes. Just an FYI, the Swazi Observer reported that the Kingdom of Eswatini is one of the top 10 of the richest countries in Africa.
For a country as rich as the kingdom of Eswatini, it makes me wonder if government is really broke or is just willing to risk the health and education quality of the country among other things. Yes, the education is at stake here. Bear in mind that we are in the middle of the year and 75 teachers are leaving teaching to join the ongoing elections. Government tried justifying that she will be hiring temporal teacher during this period to fill those vacancies. She was also trying to sell the idea that teachers are joining the elections because the had interest in politics something that TUCOSWA disputed pointed out that teachers are leaving the profession because of poor wages.
This then brings me to my next point which is about the Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) which was supposed to be adjusted last year April. Government has not been able to make these reviews and has been hiding behind the cash flow challenges cards, a card that the TUCOSWA is not willing to accept.
Speaking to the Swazi Observer, TUCOSWA Deputy Secretary General Muzi Mhlanga expressed that the federation will not accept that government had no money because there are so many things suggesting that money is available. For instance, government announced that she will not be hiring in 2018 due to the cash flows and is halting projects. She was not able to stick to that as there were promotion from His Majesty’s Correctional Services. There were also pass-out ceremonies where members of the security forces had passed out from their respective colleges to start working in their various stations across the country which will also come at a cost to government.
Above it all is the retirement package of his excellency outgoing Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini who will be getting a house amounting to E3 million as well as a car of the same caliber with the one that will be chartering the new Prime Minister. Worse of all are the allegations that tax payer’s money might be used to book the Premier at Royal Villas after His Majesty dissolve the council of Ministers.
Only a person living in his own planet would believe that the Kingdom of Eswatini is broke when looking at how the money is spent in the country. No broke person or government in her perfect mind can spend E1.5bn building a Five Star Hotel for a conference that would last for only 8 days especially if you want to be believed that you are broke. Unless you do not care whats the people think of you which makes me wonder if our government care about what international organization think about how the country spent money. Especially in light of the warning the came from the United Ambassador.