The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has laid the blame for Swaziland’s economic mess squarely on the shoulders of the Swazi Government.
The mismanagement of funds and reckless spending by the government has lead directly to the present crisis, it said.
Despite warnings from the IMF over a number of years that the financial mismanagement would destroy the economy, Swazi leaders carried on spending.
The crunch for Swaziland came when receipts from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) that in the past made up more than half of the annual national budget fell by 60 percent.
In 2007, an IMF mission to Swaziland recommended that the government save some of its SACU revenue. The IMF had projected that SACU receipts would reduce significantly after 2010.
Joannes Mongardini, IMF team leader to Swaziland, told a team of economic experts, ‘Unfortunately the government increased its expenditure when the SACU revenue went up during the period between 2004 and 2008.’
He said if the government saved the surplus earnings from SACU, the country would not be experiencing economic difficulties.
He said everyone in Swaziland had to make ‘sacrifices’ to save the economy, ‘as long as the sacrifices are evenly distributed among all Swazis’.