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Friday, 18 March 2011


The Associated Press reports this today (18 March 2011)


Demonstrators throng Swaziland capital, calling for gov't reform, protesting pay freezes

MBABANE, Swaziland - Nearly 5,000 demonstrators gathered in the main streets of Swaziland's capital, protesting the government's call to freeze civil service salaries.

The austerity budget has galvanized an anti-monarchy movement in the southern African country of about 1 million. Some protesters on Friday carried signs saying: "We want political reforms."

The Swaziland budget presented last month calls for freezing civil service salaries for the next three years and selling off state-run companies.

Swazi Minister of Finance Majozi Sithole has blamed corruption for some of his kingdom's financial problems. He complained, for instance, about doctors claiming payment from the health ministry for hours not worked, and officials travelling on funds meant for medication for rural clinics.

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