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image The nurses who set the ball rolling by threatening to strike and embarking on a go-slow.

LOBAMBA – “Settle that E236 million drugs bill with immediate effect.”

This was a resolution made by the House of Assembly yesterday after Health Minister Sibongile Simelane finally revealed that government owed its drug suppliers E236 million and as a result, there was a drug shortage in the country.

This was during a heated debate yesterday where Members of Parliament (MPs) called upon Cabinet to meet and resolve this crisis immediately.

They called for the suspension of all other projects while this matter was being sorted, wondering what benefit would be achieved if the country had beautiful roads or buildings yet had a dying nation.

This transpired during a four-hour debate after a Motion of Privilege was moved by Lobamba MP Michael Masilela, who said he had received a call from Pigg’s Peak informing him that a close relative of his had since passed on because of the lack of medication at the hospital.

However, this did not go down well with the minister who said MP Masilela should withdraw that statement because he did not have proof that his brother had died because of the shortage of medication.

Although Masilela withdrew the statement, he told the House that he was traumatised.
First to support Masilela was Mbabane East MP Esther Dlamini, who said she and her Mbabane West colleague MP Johane Shongwe, had been called to the Mbabane Government Hospital where they experienced the reality of the shortage of drugs and said the situation was very terrible.

Dlamini wondered what had caused the shortage of drugs because as Parliamentarians they had just passed the budget in March and, therefore, they were surprised to learn that there was no medication.

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