Monday, January 5, 2009


Some ‘snapshots’ of Swaziland as we enter 2009.

Manzini Regional Administrator Prince Masitsela says talk that there is no democracy in Swaziland or that the Swazi people are oppressed should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve. He noted in the Weekend Observer that the fact that some people can use the media and internet to hurl insults and vermin on the national leadership and nothing happens to them proves that Swaziland was far from becoming a dictatorship and that the leadership displayed a huge sense of tolerance. Link

AIDS is having an unprecedented impact on Swaziland. Life expectancy has fallen from 60 years to 31 years, the world's lowest figure, and one in three children are orphaned or left vulnerable from AIDS. Last year, about 40 percent of the population needed food aid. Link

Minister of Finance Majozi Sithole says a deficit in the national budget cannot be avoided. People should cut down on alcohol use and other expensive habits for the sake of their families and themselves, he said. Link

Prices of essential food items have risen 10-40 percent in 2008. There are now meat shortages in towns. World Vision reports that many Swazis in rural areas are down to one or two meals a day. Link

About 70 percent of the people in Swaziland are hungry; 40 percent are unemployed. In this group are over 120 000 orphans and large number of HIV infected people. Close to 30 percent of the population and that’s almost 300 000 of the sexually active group. Link

King Mswati III said his subjects were lazy and needed to work harder to ensure this year’s harvest was big enough to feed all of Swaziland with enough left over to export to other countries. Link

Swaziland has been placed among the top ten nations in a list of the ‘worst places to live’. This was because the kingdom is ‘afflicted with dire poverty and the world's highest HIV infection rate, the tiny southern African kingdom of 1 million has a shockingly low life expectancy of 32 – less than half the world's average. The royal family has a monopoly on the economy, and the majority of Swaziland's people live on about $1 a day.’ Link

In his predictions for 2009 the editor of the Swazi News prophesied this about Swaziland’s army, ‘They will rape anything on two legs, steal from shops, shoot to kill unprovoked and generally become loose cannons.’ Link

Happy New Year

No comments: