Only one month after Swaziland’s King Mswati III pledged his support for higher education in his kingdom, the university where he is Chancellor is reportedly insolvent.
The University of Swaziland (UNISWA) owes E60million (US$6 million) in unpaid Pay-As-You-Earn tax contributions to the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA).
King Mswati, who rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, and hand-picks the Swazi Government, said in his speech at the opening of parliament in February 2015 that his kingdom now had a ‘huge challenge to develop more institutions of higher learning for our youth in the country that will be affordable to parents and of high quality’.
He added, ‘Therefore, government should upgrade our colleges into universities as this is in line with our decentralisation policy.’
In a report to the Swazi Parliament’s Finance Sessional Committee, UNISWA said the financial problems at the university started from the time of the kingdom’s economic meltdown in 2011 and that since then its budget proposals have been cut.
Government’s subvention to the institution has over the years remained at E243 million; the same applies to the 2015/16 financial year which begins this month (April 2015).
‘We are working under a difficult position and in the true business sense, the university is insolvent, ’the report stated.
UNISWA said it might have to seek the intervention of King Mswati in the matter.
In March 2015 it was reported that the Swazi Government had not paid monies it promised to Swaziland Christian University at Mahwalala, one of the newest universities in Swaziland, and as a result it was unable to pay its wages and salaries.
VARSITY BLAMES GOVT FOR CASH CRISIS