The Swaziland Government website has been closed down – because it can’t pay its bill.
The problem is, of course, that the government’s gross mismanagement of the economy means there is practically no money left to pay any bills.
Hardly a day goes by without more news seeping out of Swaziland about unpaid bills and services shutting down.
This time the government hasn’t paid E100,000 to Real Image Internet, which runs the site, so being good capitalists, Real Image pulled the plug. It is also thought the company is angry that the Swaziland Government has placed a newspaper advertisement inviting proposals for redesigning the website and hosting its site.
The website contains information about government ministries and departments and is meant to be the centre of the government’s ‘information technology’ drive. The idea is that the government gets its own propaganda out into cyberspace to counter all the truths that are being told about the human rights abuses in the kingdom, ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
The Times Sunday, an independent newspaper in Swaziland, reports today (12 December 2010) that Real Image has been trying to get its bill paid for the past four months.
The newspaper reports it has been established that after the publication of the advert, attempts were made by Real Image to get its money. It is estimated the new website could cost about E500,000 but government was failing to pay the debt of E100,000.
A government source told the Times Sunday, ‘I do not know how the winning bid will be paid as there is no money and the new project will not cost less than E500,000. We wanted to pay Real Image but we don’t have the money.’
Prodemocracy progressives will be laughing their socks off at the news of the website’s closure. There were plans to hack into the site and block it in retaliation for the government’s censorship of the PUDEMO website. But now they won’t have to do anything because the Swazi Government is so incompetent it has silenced it itself.
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