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Govt seeks sponsors for King's birthday

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MBABANE – There is no budget set aside for this year’s birthday celebra-tions for His Majesty King Mswati III.

This was confirmed by Home Affairs Minister Prince Gcokoma, who is also the Chief of Mbelebeleni in the Manzini region, in an interview last week.

The prince said the obtaining precarious financial status had made it practically impossible for government to have a budget strictly for the celebrations.

The King, according to the minister, will be joined by the nation in celebrating his 44th Birthday at King Sobhuza II Memorial Stadium in Nhlangano in the Shiselweni region.

His Majesty was born on April 19, 1968.

The minister has sent a plea to the local business community, in particular those from the South to make meaningful contributions towards making the celebrations a massive success.

"Bobabe tikhulu (chiefs) from the Shiselweni, as hosts, are fully aware of the fundamental role they’re expected to play as they are the ones who will be hosting the King on his memorable day," Prince Gcokoma said.

The chiefs, according to the minister, have already been informed to make contributions in the form of cattle to feed the thousands of citizens expected to attend the all-important event.

The minister said the E5 million budget for all national events would solely cater for fuel.

Last year, the Head of State was unable to celebrate his birthday with the nation because government was in a financial quagmire.

The Shiselweni region played host for the King’s birthday in 2006.


No budget set aside? Why does it have to be state funds at the 1st place? Why drain the poor the little they have?
Apr 2, 2012, 6:37 AM, POA (emproducer@live.com)

Well times are hard Swaziland, like IMF said the other day the party is over. As such the country needs to focus on priorities. This goes to say we cannot go on partying when government is cash strapped to the point of failing to raise money to deliver services to the public. I mean there is just no fuel for cars, graders and tractors, but Mininster Gcokoma is even bragging that E5m would be spent on fuel for a day's celebrations! What on earth would be transported on this day? Could these be people attending the celebrations? If so, why should they be transported to be fed? My take is that E5m on food could go a long way, I mean mealie meal and meat, for starters, how many cows can you get on E5m? I make that 20,000 herds of cattle at E4,000 each; can the people go through these many cows in a day? In funerals we feed a thousand people on one beast. Are we expecting 20million guests there, from where? On the fuel thing, let everyone find their way there, and the taxpayer foot the feeding bill. Are we going to hope that His Majesty is going to save us again by telling government to shelve this year's celebrations as he did last year? It could come as a welcome move you know.
Apr 2, 2012, 6:37 AM, Burns Dlamini Lobhoncela (Burnspolitics@gmail.com)

Most families in this country have been seriously affected by the economic crisis caused by the gvt. All they can do for their kids' birthday is buy a cake and no party. I guess this gvt. will have to do that this year. Natsi site imali coz you are taxing every little cent we try to make. Tough cookies!! Kute lotokufa if there is no big celebration.
Apr 2, 2012, 8:19 AM, Ngomi N (syd_nhlengetwa@yahoo.co.uk)

Lets wait for lesimo sengce bekunene, a birthday cake for the family will do under the prevailing circumstances. Is it Swazi culture to celebrate birthdays, where are the traditionalists, sengiyatibutela nje ke.
Apr 2, 2012, 12:39 PM, dumsile zwane (dumzwa@gmail.com)

Kepha vele kukaNgwane lapha. There are a lot of poor people langaphandle baze badla nebulongo but a whole cabinet is soliciting funds for a birthday instead of helping poor people. Asekucatjangwe bekunene. Important things first, luxury later. Let's think for the future. 
Apr 2, 2012, 12:39 PM, Lord Anthony (anthonym198@gmail.com)

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