As E5.8 million (US$580,000) of public money is diverted to underwrite King Mswati III’s personal soccer tournament, news is emerging from Swaziland that elderly people have not been paid their state pensions.
The money, which is paid every three months, should have been delivered on 10 June 2015.
The pensions, worth E240 a month and known as ‘elderly grants’ are given to people aged 60 and over. They are paid in lump sums of E720 quarterly.
If the E5.8 million diverted from a number of government departments to underwrite the controversial King’s Super Cup had been used to pay the grants, more than 8,000 could have been paid.
In Swaziland seven in ten of the population have incomes of less than US$2 a day. For many elderly people the grants are their only source of income.
Earlier this month (July 2015), it was revealed that the Swazi Ministry of Sport, Culture and Youth Affairs had been given E5.8 million to support the Super Cup, which is the initiative of King Mswati III, who rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. The money had been diverted from a number of other government departments.
Two of South Africa’s top teams, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, are taking part in the tournament on 18 July 2015.
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