Police officers in Swaziland / Eswatini have been ordered to pay towards the cost of their own Police Day and passing out ceremony in July.
Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Khulani Mamba confirmed they would be expected to pay E20 each. As much as E60,000 (US$4,400) would be collected, the Swazi News reported on Saturday (23 June 2018).
Mamba told the newspaper the money was needed to supplement the money government gave to the event.
The Swazi News said this had not happened in the past.
Swaziland is broke and the government is living from hand to mouth. Earlier this month Finance Minister Martin Dlamini told the House of Assembly as of 31 March 2018 government owed E3.28 billion. Dlamini said budget projections indicated ‘exponential growth in the arrears’.
There have been reports in Swaziland that police do not have resources to carry out routine duties. Police were unable to respond when a five-year-old was abducted and raped because they were on election duty, the Swazi Observer reported on 24 May 2018.
Police officers were also left stranded at voting registration centres because there were no vehicles available to take them home.
Despite the funding crisis, the Swazi Government still found US$30 million to buy the kingdom’s absolute monarch King Mswati III a second private plane. It has also earmarked E1.5bn (US$125m) this year to build a conference centre and five-star hotel to host the African Union summit in 2020 that will last only eight days and it is budgeting E5.5 million to build Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini a retirement house. There are also plans for a new parliament building that will cost E2.3 billion.
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