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LOOKING at infrastructure development in the country, one is very impressed and it shows dedication.

This is a good thing by our government but what disturbed me was that the development in infrastructure is pushed so much not only because it will benefit the people of the country (I do not want to say Swaziland or Eswatini because that issue is still subject to determination by the courts of the country) but it is also a way of enriching certain individuals who benefit from tenders in the construction industry. That disturbed me because it is the reason why the right to life is disregarded in this country. That is where we lose money to deal with health issues.

I must mention that the very first right mentioned in our Constitution (I do not want to refer to the treaties and covenant ratified by this country because they are very foreign to us and we last saw them when we signed them) is the right to life. This is the most fundamental of all rights because one cannot enjoy the other rights without the right to life. Life is one right that has to be protected by all means. Even those in authority go out of the country borders for medical check-ups. This shows that they all value the right to life but the issue is that they only value their rights and do not care for the general population of this country.

Looking at the state of government hospitals, one wonders if we have a Ministry of Health. Do we have a government that has a Constitution with a Bill of Rights? We always get reports on structural problems in government hospitals which take days to fix. We get reports on shortages of staff which are not attended to.

Instead the excuses of lack of finances are always raised and one wonders why. Would the money wasted on the corrupt construction of structures in the country not be enough to have helped fix the structural problems in hospitals? The USA ambassador to the kingdom recently raised a concern on the way State resources are being wasted and it seems government still does not care about that red flag. After all we have just got our bounty from SACU and it will be used by those in authority, forgetting about the general populace.

It was so disturbing to hear that Swazipharm has even stopped supplying medication to those in private business because government is failing to pay it. Even though Swazipharm tried to explain its position, government is still failing to pay the company. Then one wonders if the right to life for the people of this country is regarded as paramount when money is used for other secondary things and lost to corruption. That government is in financial trouble is clear to everyone but it still has the audacity to pump in a lot of money into celebrations yet people are suffering.

What nearly took the breath out off my lungs, though, was to see an article that an officer in the Ministry of Agriculture has been charged for doing his job. The officer is supposed to indicate when there is a problem with animals brought into the country irrespective of who they are going to. I am sure the King would not have been impressed were he to hear that the country is affected by the dreaded foot and mouth disease because of a gift that was given to him.

The principal secretary is concerned about a market that the country lost for a few days but forgets that if the disease was to be found in the country, the market would be lost for a longer time compared to what happened. I think this officer deserves some recognition than a disciplinary hearing.

My concern is that the foot and mouth disease would have affected cattle in the country. These cattle are the cattle that will be consumed by people of this country. The result would have been an infection of the people in country and a health issue arising. The principal secretary is not concerned about what would have happened to the people of the country but concerned about a market that is far away from his fellow countrymen. He does not care about what would have happened to the health of the people of this country.

That the officer helped preserve the health of the people of this country is inconsequential to the principal secretary. The most paramount right to life is secondary to the European market, well, that is according to the PS. The right to life is just disregarded. How I wish government could prioritise well and consider the right to health and life in everything t does.

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