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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

MINISTERS GO IN STYLE AS POOR SUFFER

On the day it was revealed that ministers in the Swaziland Government are getting E16,000 each and every month in travel expenses comes news that the poorest and most vulnerable in the kingdom will lose farming grants.

The government says it doesn’t have the money to supply orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) and poor farmers with maize seeds as well as other implements this year.

But, seemingly it does have the money for the ministers and their cars.

The Minister of Agriculture Clement Dlamini blamed donors for the lack of funding, ignoring the fact that the government prioritises spending in the kingdom and prefers to spend on its own members rather than the poor.

Dlamini said government had not received funding from the Global Fund through the National Emergency Relief Council on HIV and AIDS (NERCHA).

The Swazi Observer newspaper quotes him saying that he had no idea how many Swazi people would be affected by the cut, but it says there are about 200,000 OVC in the kingdom.

He said he did not know whether the grants would be available next year.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that ministers get a car allowance of E16 171.92 – which is about three times the monthly salary of a teacher in Swaziland.

The Times of Swaziland said that a cabinet minister’s salary is E40 000 per month but with all of their allowances they end up getting close to E70 000.

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