Thursday, July 11, 2019

Swaziland public services in meltdown and corruption goes unchecked: new report surveys the kingdom

Public services throughout Swaziland / eSwatini are close to meltdown as the government, handpicked by absolute monarch King Mswati III, fails to get a grip on the economy. Health services have been especially hit over the past three months with reports that people have died as medicines run out because the government did not paid suppliers. Drugs for HIV are in short supply, even though the kingdom has the highest rate of infection in the world. Patients in public hospitals have also gone unfed.

These are some of the reports that have appeared on the Swazi Media Commentary website in the second quarter of 2019 and are contained in a new compilation, Swaziland: Striving for Freedom Vol 34 April to June 2019 that can be downloaded free-of-charge from Scribd. Also included: the International Trade Union Confederation placed Swaziland near the bottom of countries across the world for workers’ rights. It said in the past year ‘police brutality reached unprecedented levels’ and ‘security forces fired live ammunition at protesting workers’. Elsewhere, public service unions marched on the government demanding cost-of-living salary increases.

The absolute monarch King Mswati maintained his grip on power by appointing 28 members of his family to the kingdom’s committees and boards, including 10 princes and princesses to the 23-member Liqoqo, a supreme traditional advisory body which is also known as the Swazi National Council Standing Committee. This was in addition to the eight members of his Royal Family he appointed to the Senate and six to the House of Assembly last year. 

Meanwhile, the United States in its annual report on human rights in Swaziland found there was no appetite to investigate human rights abuses or corruption. Swaziland was controlled by the King and ‘political power remained largely vested with the king and his traditional advisors,’ the report, stated.
Swazi Media Commentary is published online, updated most weekdays. It is operated entirely by volunteers and receives no financial backing from any organisation. It is devoted to providing information and commentary in support of human rights in Swaziland.

See also

Swaziland in economic freefall with human rights failings, report shows

King Mswati in complete control as another year of human rights struggle ends in Swaziland

Police violence, undemocratic elections, hunger and disease: highlights of Swaziland’s human rights violations

Swaziland: Striving for freedom

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