The people are fed up
It is no wonder parents have joined the bandwagon of government’s critics, calling for Cabinet to hang their heads in shame and resign. The situation is so bad that it is no longer a subject for debate. This Cabinet, with its insatiable appetite and penchant for lavish spending, has failed the litmus test. Now the public is totally fed up.
In the wake of the teachers strike, to force government to give them a 4.5 per cent pay rise, over 1 000 parents have called for Cabinet to step down, along with nine other serious demands.
This clearly indicates that Cabinet has not just lost the public’s confidence but the public’s sympathy as well. It now has the insurmountable task of leading this country in the midst of the financial crisis, without public support. This is purely because this government has failed to make the best of a desperate situation, but instead has plundered our resources with such impunity that no wise person would root for it any longer.
That this country has an army whose budget is ranked 18th in the world, based on GDP, is scandalous; but also proof that government has failed to spend wisely.
In addition to this, government is refusing to listen to the views of the people, who pay their salaries and who have called for the withdrawal of the controversial Circular No. 1 of 2010. It has always been so simple: If government withdrew this circular, no matter how complicated the task, the public confidence would be restored and it would not have to contend with having to confirm its legitimacy to all and sundry—even to pupils who have been left bewildered as to what kind of government can be so cruel as to allow a situation where they are left without any teacher in class or used as pawns in a political tug-of-war.
The message is now loud and clear; the people are against the circular and no amount of political dialogue is going to change their minds. This, especially considering the fact we have had one too many dialogues without any resolution being implemented, indicates that the window for dialogue is closing fast and the leaders of this country need to take concrete and dramatic action to restore the public confidence in government.
Oh, and that army budget could be slashed. Then, maybe just maybe the people can listen to the old broken record that there is not enough money.
True that chief. The government of Britain (a monarch and a 1st world country) has agreed to cut its army by 20%! Source:BBC news. Lihlulwa yini ke livenyana lelinganayo impi (or else soldiers helping in other countries like the US army) to cut its own or else terminate some services like food?
Jul 6, 2012, 3:26 AM, Lord Anthony (Anthonym198@gmail.com)
I concur fully. It is difficult for Swazis to fully embrace Government and sympathize with her basically because it is not genuinely democratic and because the country is run like a family business. What irkes me is that royalty's budget allocation is very high and keeps growing annually despite claims of lack of funds. And we are not permitted to scrutinize the allocation through parliament despite that it is our money. There is also the issue of Tibiyo which has huge public funds but which is not accountable to the people. The fund's money benefits royalty. There is also the issue of huge amounts of money that were and are still being stolen from the country. Who then would sympathize with Government in light of this?
Jul 6, 2012, 3:26 AM, thatha (email@example.com)
This is an excellent synopsis of the ugly situation which we're witnessing here in Swaziland. People are indeed fed up with this gov't, and I'm one of them. It's not like we want gov't to perform miracles or anything like that. All we want is for them to be sincere and serious in whatever they do. I see no sincerity here. I don't even see any commitment on their part to lead this country to stability, let alone towards His Majesty's vision of 21st century. All I see is my PM, Hlubi Lomuhle, dousing petrol on a house that's already on fire. He's come back from Burundi, which is a trip that couldn't have cost less than E200,000 for him and his security detail, plus meals and per diems. What he learned and admired in that country was their arms of war, that's all. I wouldn't therefore be surprised to see a supplementary budget for the army in the next two weeks. He went to Australia early this year which is a trip that couldn't have cost less than E600,000.00 in first class tickets for him and his security detail and supporting ministers. What he learned from that trip was that protesters must be put in a field away from everyone else, and nothing more. There's this thing called the Peter Principle which is common in the human resources environment. It posits that there is a limit to everyone's level of competence, beyond which people become ineffective. It discourages managers from promoting people beyond their level of understanding. Check this principle out and apply it liberally to the situation (or should I say commotion) we're witnessing here. I recently went to corporate governance workshop which cost over E5000.00 and the main lesson I took away was that some people can dress very shabbily! (Two can play this game!)
Jul 6, 2012, 1:53 PM, lomangwane (lomangwane@ yahoo)
Yes Mr Editor, the people are fed up with the way they are governed. Actually they were fed up the day the present PM was put to office at Sibayeni. This government is not serving the people's interest but serving their own selfish ends. Look at all the policies they come up with, they are all designed to make the rich more richer while the poor remain submerged in poverty. If we need some economic progress in Swaziland we must change our political system. Now the country is at crossroads where it has no choice but to introduce political reforms which include the unbanning of political parties. I feel pity for those who hate justice, equality and fairness because they will choke in a democratic environment.
Jul 6, 2012, 1:53 PM, banele (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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