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Thursday, 7 October 2010

SWAZI PEOPLE MISLED ON IMF SUPPORT

The Swaziland Government is misleading people about its success at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this week.


Barnabas Dlamini, the illegally-appointed Prime Minister, and government colleagues went to the IMF to get some money so they could pay the kingdom’s bills, including the salaries of civil servants and other government workers. This money is called ‘budget support’.


But so far the Swazi Government hasn’t been given a cent. What has happened is that the IMF wants the Swazi Government to produce a workable financial plan for the kingdom and it will give some money to help it to improve its own financial management. But the IMF has not given anything for ‘budget support’.


This suggests, to me at least, that the much trailed Fiscal Adjustment Roadmap’ the government boasted would show it was on top of the financial crisis cut little ice with the IMF.


So, not much has changed: the government still doesn’t have any more money, even though it assured civil servants and others that it would get some in time to pay their October 2010 salaries.


As things stand, those salaries might not be paid.


That’s the truth of the matter. However, the Swaziland Government is trying to mislead the Swazi people by making it seem it has been more successful in its negotiations with the IMF that it has been.


For the second day running SBIS, Swaziland’s state controlled radio, has been running positive stories about the IMF meeting (which have been repeated by the Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper).


It is no coincidence that the only information coming to Swaziland about the IMF meeting is through SBIS: it is controlled by the government and has Dlamini, the Prime Minister, as its editor-in-chief.

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