Sunday, November 15, 2009


Congratulations to the Swazi News for pointing out that the ‘hullabaloo’ surrounding plans to develop Swaziland’s capital city Mbabane has come to nothing.

It seems like we’re all playing Fantasy Watch, the game where we expose the myth that Swaziland is a rich kingdom and can afford grand developments for shopping complexes, hotels, business centres, football stadia and an international airport.

The Swazi News, part of Swaziland’s only independent newspaper group, the Times of Swaziland, reports, ‘The sorry site of the country’s capital, Mbabane has remained unchanged despite the hullabaloo when it was announced that there was going to be a corporate centre and co-operative bank.

‘Newspapers were awash with artistic impression drawings detailing how the two would look like and everyone was looking forward to that time when the projects would be utilised. That excitement went to an extent of even naming the people expected to occupy those shops and offices.’

But as anybody following Fantasy Watch will know, nothing has happened.

Over the past few years there have been many claims for development in Mbabane and some building has even started only to be abandoned unfinished when the money ran out. There are two in particular that every visitor to Mbabane knows well: the Corporate Centre (abandoned after a dispute over funding between the two organisations developing it) and the Swaziland Association of Credit Organisations development behind the Mbabane Mall.

The Swazi News quotes an (alas) anonymous economist who says Swaziland’s organisations were not capable of managing projects of this magnitude.

That about sums it up.

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