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Friday, 23 June 2017

BAD FOOD POISONS 200 SWAZI PUPILS



More than 200 children in Swaziland were treated for food poisoning after allegedly being served contaminated meat at school.

It came as schools throughout the kingdom struggle to feed children because the Swazi Government has not paid monies owed.

The emergency happened at Mphundle High, the Swazi Observer reported on Tuesday (20 June 2017).

The newspaper reported, ‘Over half of the total number of pupils at the school is said to have complained of severe stomach pains, diarrhoea and vomiting.’

It added, ‘Some of these allegedly vomited in the middle of lessons, throwing a serious wave of panic among the teachers.’

Paramedics were called to the school and pupils needing urgent medical attention were taken to nearby health clinics where some were later transferred to hospitals.

The newspaper said pupils ate beef and rice during their lunch break the previous day, ‘a meal which is suspected to have been the cause of their illness’. All children have reportedly recovered.

Deputy Regional Education Officer Dzabulase Mthupha confirmed the incident. 

The outbreak of food poisoning came after for the second term running children across Swaziland have been sent home early from classes because there is no food for them. This is because the Swazi Government has failed to deliver food, known locally as zondle, to poverty-stricken areas of the kingdom. 

The Ministry of Education and Training delivers about four 50kgs of rice and six to 10 to 50kgs of mealie-meal, depending on the size of the school and beans in each school to last a month.
The situation has not changed since the start of the February 2017 school term.

According to the World Food Program about 350,000 Swazi people from a population of 1.3 million need assistance with food following the drought. Chronic malnutrition is a main concern in Swaziland: stunting affects 26 percent of children aged under five years.

See also

NO FOOD SO SCHOOLKIDS SENT HOME

HUNGER FORCES SCHOOLS TO CLOSE EARLY

SWAZI KING GETS NEW JET AS PEOPLE STARVE

DROUGHT: ‘PEOPLE DIED OF HUNGER’

Thursday, 22 June 2017

CHIEF THREAT TO ‘BAN SINGLE MOTHERS’



A chief in Swaziland has threatened too banish all single mothers from the area he rules over.

This was to ease the burden to the community of children born out of wedlock, local media reported.

The Observer on Saturday (17 June 2017) said Chief Somtsewu Motsa of Lushishikishini called a meeting of all ‘single mothers, pastors and those known to have impregnated girls without marrying them’.

The newspaper reported, ‘Reliable sources said the traditional authorities were threatening to evict anyone to be seen to defy the chief’s order.’

It added, ‘The traditional leadership is said to have issued the order for all single mothers and pastors to attend without fail the meeting and failure to do so meant eviction from Lushikishini.’

The newspaper could not get a comment from the chief.

Chiefs in Swaziland are the representative of King Mswati III who rules the kingdom as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. Swazi chiefs have enormous power and it is through chieftaincies that the King maintains control of his people and chiefs do his bidding at a local level. People know not to get on the wrong side of the chief because their livelihood depends on his goodwill. In some parts of Swaziland the chiefs are given the power to decide who gets food that has been donated by international agencies. The chiefs quite literally have power of life and death in such cases with about a third of the population of Swaziland receiving food aid each year. 
Chiefs can and do take revenge on their subjects who disobey them. There is a catalogue of cases in Swaziland. For example, Chief Dambuza Lukhele of Ngobelweni in the Shiselweni region banned his subjects from ploughing their fields because some of them defied his order to build a hut for one of his wives.
Nhlonipho Nkamane Mkhatswa, chief of Lwandle in Manzini, the main commercial city in Swaziland, reportedly stripped a woman of her clothing in the middle of a street in full view of the public because she was wearing trousers.
In November 2013, the newly-appointed Chief Ndlovula of Motshane threatened to evict nearly 1,000 of his subjects from grazing land if they did not pay him a E5,000 (about US$500 at the time) fine, the equivalent of more than six months income for many.
Chiefs are given stipends by the national treasury, but not salaries, and community members pay their allegiance to chiefs by weeding and harvesting their fields, and constructing the traditional mud and thatch huts usually found at chiefs’ homesteads.
 See also

KING'S DEFIANT SUBJECTS 'WILL BURN'

CHIEF FORCES SUBJECTS TO GREET KING


BULLYING CHIEFS RULE IN SWAZILAND

CHIEF MAKES WOMAN IN PANTS STRIP

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

SWAZI HEALTH CRISIS: BLOOD RUNS OUT



In another twist in the ongoing health crisis in Swaziland, the kingdom’s blood bank has run dry, putting at risk patients who are suffering from leukaemia, cancer of the blood, skin and lung cancer.

The APA news agency reported on Friday (16 June 2017) chief laboratory technologist at the Blood Bank, Gugu Maphalala said the demand of blood had gone up in recent years due to increases in diseases and blood was flowing out of the bank quicker than it came in.

The Ministry of Health has turned to inmates in correctional facilities for blood but APA reported some people were against this ‘as they said it was against certain standards’.

There has been a health crisis in Swaziland for several months as medicines in public hospitals and health clinics ran out because the Swazi Government failed to pay suppliers.

Minister of Health  Sibongile Ndlela-Simelane in a paper presented to the Swaziland Senate last Monday (12 June 2017) said, ‘This has reduced the quantity of commodities that suppliers are able to deliver before payment.’

The Swazi Observer newspaper reported, ‘Substantiating her point, Simelane said the suppliers had decried government’s failure to pay on time, stating that they also had suppliers that they too had to pay and this act by government was destroying their relationship.’

The Minister said more drugs were now being delivered.

See also

MEDICINE SHORTAGE: FIVE DIE

DRUG SHORTAGE CRISIS DEEPENS

SWAZI GOVT ‘KILLING ITS OWN PEOPLE’