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The King’s guidance through the Speech from the Throne on Friday has shaped the government’s agenda as we embark on a fresh five-year term with a predominantly new group of politicians.

We do so with the expectation that they can accomplish tasks with greater efficiency, effectiveness and speed. We applaud the King for acknowledging the significant concerns voiced by the people at Sibaya and prioritising them in the nation’s development agenda. The Prime Minister, Russell Dlamini, and his Cabinet team, are now responsible for ensuring that the directives from the Throne align with the roadmap developed at the recent Cabinet retreat to come up with the Master Plan.

It is of utmost importance to prioritise the establishment of synergies with the appropriate stakeholders in order to ensure efficient delivery of services in areas such as job creation, poverty reduction, combating corruption, enhancing access to healthcare, achieving food self-sufficiency, promoting quality education and addressing gender-based violence. The timelines for these deliverables in the King’s speech emphasise the pressing need to improve the government’s turnaround time. The King highlighted the ‘Nkwe! declaration’ as a call for prompt and resolute action, aimed at eliminating the long-standing perception of inadequate service delivery that gave rise to the unofficial motto, ‘there is no hurry in Eswatini’.


During the Cabinet retreat, one of the ideas put forward for rebranding the government image was to foster a culture of excellence within the civil service. This would involve the introduction of a Performance Management Service (PMS) for civil servants. We definitely need a change of mindset for a civil service that has been plagued by a lackadaisical approach towards the public they are meant to serve. Some officials even struggle to empathise with those who are on sick beds, giving rise to bribery for services. It is not surprising in a country where prominent individuals involved in large-scale graft go unpunished. The King, driven by calls of frustration at Sibaya, is demanding tangible results in the form of convictions and imprisonment. The previous Cabinet’s performance on corruption is an eyesore, given the significant drop of 45 places on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of Transparency International. This indicates that we have now fallen to 130 out of 180 countries, compared to our previous position of 85 when the 11th Parliament took office in 2018. Then we wonder why individuals are so enraged by this epidemic.

By safeguarding our resources, we can better fulfil the needs and aspirations of the population in various domains, including healthcare, education and infrastructure development. This, in turn, will contribute to economic growth and the achievement of our job creation and poverty alleviation goals. The country needs ample resources to address crucial initiatives like achieving energy independence, providing electricity to rural areas and ensuring access to clean drinking water for all communities. Protected resources also ensure that our civil servants have access to the essential tools they need to meet their expectations. The lack of these essential components is the reason behind the increasing frustration within government.


The recent Sibaya has given the new government the benefit of the doubt, so it must exercise caution to avoid misleading the nation with empty assurances. On a positive note, the country is expected to experience significant economic growth of nearly five per cent in the years 2024–25. Coupled with this is a reduced deficit and an expected increase in the national budget, primarily driven by higher tax revenue from both local and external sources. These indicators provide a solid foundation for us to build upon as we embark on our mission to kick inequality to the curb and demonstrate that the well-being of all emaSwati is of the utmost significance and will be treated with the respect it deserves.

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: Exam questions
Should exam questions be in both English and siSwati?