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MANZINI – Payday has come with a ‘headache’ for some soldiers following an order that they should contribute part of their salaries towards the 50/50 Jubilee celebration.

This sums up what happened to members of the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) between Monday and Tuesday. Well-placed sources within the USDF said when their superiors told them about the decision to make contributions towards the successful hosting of the 50/50 Jubilee celebration to be held at Mavuso Trade and Exhibition Centre on April 19, 2018, they also hinted on the amount of money expected from individuals in the different ranks.

According to insiders, the contributions range between E100 to be forked out by those holding the rank of a Private and E600 to be paid by generals. Meanwhile, corporals and lieutenants are set to part with E110 and E270 respectively.  Soldiers hold different views regarding the matter, as some said they had expected such to happen, as they regard it as a norm when it comes to special national events while others decried the timing of making the contributions.
Their concern was that even though it was anticipated that such could happen, they should have been told about this on time so that they could budget for it. They said some of them received the order a day before their payday while for others, it was two days as they normally get paid between the 20th and 22nd of every calendar month.

“Apart from being compelled to make the contributions, we have now been cornered into paying it now because the celebrations will be held before we get our salaries for April 2018,” said some of the unhappy military men.
Again, they said another concern they had with the contributions was that there were some people holding senior positions in the army who portrayed the initiative as an honest proposal but certain things then went wrong.

They made allegations that cannot be repeated as they could not be verified or proven. It is worth noting that soldiers are not the first members of the country’s security forces to express their discontent about this initiative as it happened with members of the Royal Swaziland Police. So far, impeccable sources within His Majesty’s Correctional Services (HMCS) said there was no communiqué sent to them regarding the 50/50 Jubilee celebration contributions.

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: Patients queue
Should the minister of Health, PS and director of health services be relieved of their duties for failing to solve the problems engulfing the public health sector?