Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Swazi public servants will strike if they are not paid their salaries.

This promise was made after Majozi Sithole, Swaziland’s Finance Minister for the past ten years, confessed the government did not have money to pay salaries in June or beyond. It is possible it won’t be able to pay May salaries either.

Vincent Dlamini, Secretary General of the National Public Servants and Allied Workers Union (NAPSAWU), said chaos would erupt if they are not paid.

He told the Times of Swaziland, ‘There will be socio political chaos if we are not paid.’

He added, ‘If June comes and we are not paid we will take to the streets. We will mobilise people as we are already doing, to get them ready to take action and take to the streets to force Cabinet to leave.’

He said government had informed them during negotiations that it does not have money but did not state that they risk not being paid.

Besides, he said, this could be a ploy to get civil servants to accept salary cuts.

The newspaper reported that recently Sithole had said government would be saved from ‘total collapse’ if civil servants accepted salary cuts.

Dlamini put the blame for the crisis squarely on the shoulders of the government for failing to manage the kingdom’s finances properly.

He said it had been irresponsible with public funds.

He told the Times, government could no longer use the global financial crisis to hide its inefficiencies.

This was because other countries were recovering and focusing on growth successfully.

‘This is a sign of failure. Government running out of money has never been heard of since independence [1968]. They cannot be trusted. While other countries are recovering, focusing on creating jobs and growing their economies our government is only lamenting and commentating,’ he said.

He highlighted estimates that about E80 million is lost each month due to corruption.

‘It was said there is a minister with over E30 million in his personal account but nothing was done. Majozi recently said corruption is rife in Cabinet. Clearly they cannot be trusted,’ he said.

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