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A CABINET OF CRISES

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While Cabinet was nice and cosy in a hotel up north - supposedly planning to get the country working - tertiary institutions were shutting down left, right and centre due to unpaid allowances.


The University of Swaziland’s Kwaluseni and Luyengo Campuses are closed. So is the William Pitcher Teacher Training College. First-year students at the Southern Africa Nazarene University (SANU) have also been sent packing for protesting over the delayed allowances.


We condemn violence in the strongest possible terms and will always urge the students to address their grievances in a peaceful manner. However, we cannot condone gross inefficiency on the part of government in disbursing what is due to the students.
The tertiary calendar is well-known, so how does government fail to make sufficient funds available on time to avoid the disruption of lectures? Why does the minister responsible for these allowances still have a job? 

 


The misery of the education sector doesn’t end there. The prime minister and his team were probably feasting on the finest things the hotel has to offer while some schools are still without meals, despite a promise by government to deliver two weeks into the new term.
When it did deliver, the food was placed at a government warehouse and teachers told to collect it themselves, before a belated decision to get government trucks to assist.
Even then, some schools still have no idea how to get hold of the trucks. In the midst of all this are pupils in class on empty stomachs.
What became of the billions of Emalangeni that the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA) was boasting about while its workers were on strike?


Management rewarded itself for a job well done and handed the money over to Cabinet. Clearly it hasn’t arrived yet.
In fact, the situation has gone from bad to worse because the business community is still waiting in vain for payments. Other sectors, such as health and agriculture, have also experienced drug shortages and delayed farm inputs. 


Parliament officially opens today and Cabinet will be receiving new directives from the Head of State. 
Given its track record, we would be pleasantly surprised if Cabinet delivers on any of these directives before it vacates office. What is certain though, is that the minister’s exit perks will be paid right on time!

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