The following is a media release issued today (26 January 2011) from the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN). It criticises the Swazi Royal Family for using jobs in the kingdom’s civil service as a way of rewarding supporters. As the International Monetary Fund seeks 7,000 job losses among civil servants, SSN shanes those who are on the government payroll, courtesy of King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, but who do no work.
The IMF’s Recommends A Less Effective Civil Service as Mswati's Cronies Take Enemas at Tax Payers' Expense.
SSN PRESS RELEASE –
26th January, 2011
According to the latest Public Information Notice (PIN) released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the 24th of January 2010, the kingdom of Swaziland has the second largest wage bill in sub-Saharan Africa after Lesotho. The country’s finance minister once reported that with this wage bill makes up 54% of the country’s overall budget.
Despite the fact that the IMF has recommended the reduction of this wage bill by taking drastic measures such as not hiring any new civil servants, implementing early retirement exit schemes and things continuing its privatization policy among other things, the government has stalled on implementing this recommendation out of fear that it will spark social upheaval.
What it has since done, however, is to claim to have cut overtime wages, freeze the hiring of civil servants and reduce ghost workers, the latter being a serious problem in the country’s civil service. The wage bill is artificially inflated by the fact that some unscrupulous civil servants draw salaries of nonexistent workers. This is one of the many fruits of the royal blanket covering corruption.
Due to the Royal family’s extended patronage systems many other registered civil servants draw salaries that they never work for. This is most prevalent in the armed forces, particularly in the defence force, which has gone to the extent of hiring the king’s two sons despite the fact that they are rarely ever in the country and do no soldier work.
The king’s brother in law, Sibusiso Mngomezulu is another well connected individual who draws a high salary in the country’s defence force despite the fact he has a job as a financial director at Chancellor House, the ANC’s private investment firm that recently bought a coal mine in Swaziland. All this rot is happening while both countries are struggling to create quality jobs for its citizens.
A large number of civil servants in less senior positions are also guilty of this grossly unprofessional behaviour. Many of them during this time of the year are found relaxing at the country’s natural hot spring in Lobamba bathing and taking enemas during working hours having told their superiors that they are on official royal duty.
As the financial crisis deepens in the kingdom these are the issues which should be dealt with immediately before any hard working and vastly experienced civil servants are pressured into taking early retirement schemes, a move that will render the civil service less effective than it currently is and in the end add to the country’s economic woes.
Issued by the Swaziland Solidarity Network [SSN] South Africa Chapter.