The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Swaziland has joined the chorus of voices warning that the kingdom could descend into social unrest because of the meltdown in the kingdom’s economy.
Joannes Mongardini, the IMF Mission Chief to Swaziland, said if the Swazi Government didn’t implement swingeing cuts in its spending and sack thousands of public servants, dire consequences await the kingdom, ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
He reportedly told a seminar held by the Central Bank of Swaziland that his experience had taught him that failure to make adjustments to the economy resulted in some countries failing to pay their salaries. ‘The social repercussions of failing to do this are serious and I do not think that Swaziland wants to experience that.
‘The urgent priority is to cut salaries and increase tax collection,’ he warned.
Mongardini’s warning is the direct opposite of that given by Barnabas Dlamini, the illegally-appointed Prime Minister of Swaziland. He said that there would be civil unrest if the government was forced to cut civil service salaries.
Meanwhile, Mbongeni Mbingo, the editor-in-chief of the Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper, has warned their will be blood on the streets once the cuts start to bite and people will ‘start to revolt’.