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LOBAMBA – Does the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini care about the lives of its citizens or it is only concerned about the economy?

This is the question that was posed by Hosea Member of Parliament (MP) Bacede Mabuza as he, together with his colleagues, criticised the partial lockdown which was announced by government in the fight against the spread of the deadly coronavirus. During a sitting in the House of Assembly yesterday, the Prime Minister, Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini, watched in dismay as MPs took turns to blast some of the guidelines which have been outlined in the partial lockdown strategy which he announced on Tuesday.


At the beginning of his debate, MP Mabuza wanted to know if the current government was one for the people or the economy.  “I am asking this question because government said the safety of the people was of utmost importance but then the same government says the people should use kombis and go to work in the textile firms. “As of now, it is like our government only cares about money. I am a businessman, I have many people employed in my companies. I can safely say that their lives are not safe,” Mabuza submitted. Elaborating, Mabuza said he wanted to know from the PM and government as a whole as to who would suffer in the event that all firms were closed. He said as a businessman, he knew the strategy that was used by government through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

According to Mabuza, the ministry had a tendency of sending about three or more inspectors and all they did was get inside offices of the bosses and then come out to say all was well when it was not the case. Furthermore, he revealed that he had received several calls from suppliers in other countries informing him that they had closed. “And then government has the guts to say it is my choice to close. It is clear that government is running away from the responsibility of paying the employees,” he submitted. Also making a submission on the ministerial statement was Hhukwini MP Nkhanyeti Ngwenya, who first enquired if a government gazette authorising the guidelines had been issued. Ngwenya then asked why government had not issued a directive for civil servants to stay at home. In his view, keeping the workers at home would save costs.


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