eSwatini Government Incurs More Debt While Failing to Provide Social Support

Where is the budget to compensate relatives of those who lost their lives during the June massacre? Why is the government taking a loan for the King? Pro-democracy protests in eSwatini made headlines regularly in 2021 calling for an end to King Mswati’s rule. Timothy Myeni, the Nkilongo Member of Parliament (MP) has questioned why Finance Minister Neal Rijikernberg did not allocate money to compensate the relatives of the victims and survivors of the June 2021 massacre. Speaking in Parliament, the pro-democracy MP said he would not waste time questioning the Minister about the failure by the Government to maintain roads and provide drugs in hospitals as those issues had been a subject of debate for years. He said the Government has failed to address those social issues and repeating them over and over again would be a waste of time.

“Where is the budget for the people who were injured during the unrest? This is the big question for the moment. As we speak, there are people who are without legs and the Minister said he was saddened by the unrest. If it’s true that he was at pain for the loss of lives, where is the money to compensate the survivors and relatives of those who died?”

MPs were still debating the budget the speech at the time of compiling this report. The question is: will peace ever be restored in eSwatini when so many victims were left scarred for life whilst the government passed the R540 million African Development Bank (Support for Economic Recovery and Inclusive Growth Phase I) loan Bill No.3 of 2022.

Left: His Majesty King Mswati III

Left: Finance Minister Neal Rijikernberg

The loan Bill was tabled by Finance Minister Neal Rijikernberg, and it is expected to be controlled by King Mswati through his Cabinet. The Government of eSwatini is known as “His Majesty’s Government as it is fully controlled by Mswati as an absolute Monarch. Mswati is a major player in the economy of eSwatini and through his giant companies, he is expected to benefit directly and indirectly from the loan. Mswati’s government is on a mission to borrow more so that the coming democratic Governments could be in huge debts.


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