Saturday, October 21, 2017

SWAZILAND NURSES ON ‘GO-SLOW’



Nurses across Swaziland are taking part in a ‘go-slow’ and picketing as their relationship with government has broken down.

It comes after hundreds of nurses marched to petition the Prime Minister on Wednesday (18 October 2017).

 Nurses believe they have been victimised over incidents at health facilities that are not their fault. At the centre of the dispute is the Emkhuzweni Health Centre where they say nurses were unfairly singled out and blamed when a birth delivery went wrong in 2015.

They say the Swazi Government has failed to respond to their concerns a number of times.

Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) President Bheki Mamba said patient services would be affected at all the health facilities across the kingdom.


See also

NURSES STRIKE OVER DRUG SHORTAGES

DRUG SHORTAGE CRISIS DEEPENS

UNPAID NURSES AND STAFF STRIKE

SWAZI HEALTH OFFICERS’ STRIKE THREAT

Friday, October 20, 2017

BOSSES SILENCE SWAZI JAIL WARDERS



The staff association representing Swaziland’s jail warders has been banned from meeting because it is asking too many questions about how the prison department works.

The Commissioner General of His Majesty’s Correctional Services Isaiah Mzuthini Ntshangase reportedly said the Correctional Staff Association was a ‘hindrance’ and took up too much time.

The Observer on Saturday newspaper in Swaziland reported (14 October 2017) the association had been banned from meeting across Swaziland.

It reported one staff member saying, ‘Staff Association members are being victimised and petty crimes are being plotted against them by all means. We are scared to voice out our challenges as no meeting is sanctioned by the commissioner general where we can discuss our concerns as officers.’

The newspaper added that some staff members had  been stopped from contesting the forthcoming local government elections, although they are legally entitled to do so. They received letters saying this was because of their work as prison officers and representatives of the staff association.

The Observer on Saturday also reported that the staff association had been blocked from meeting ‘because it is viewed as a rebellious faction for their continued questioning of wrongs within the department’. 

It added, ‘The Staff Association is seen as a body that has been vocal on issues that led to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) clauses being implemented to the contentious Correctional Bill that has recently been passed. 

The Observer on Saturday reported, ‘The Correctional Staff Association is a body of representatives for correctional officers that is alleged to have questioned the proceeds of the Correctional staff canteens, the non-availability of audited statements of the staff canteens, the total takeover of the entity by the commissioner general and disregarding the entity’s constitution. The rampant looting of the canteen proceeds has seen retired officers demanding a share.’

See also

PROBE INTO ‘INHUMANE’ JAIL CONDITIONS

PROBE INTO CORRUPTION AT SWAZI JAIL

JAILERS SEX ASSAULT ON MALE INMATES

Thursday, October 19, 2017

SWAZI GOVERNMENT ‘IS BROKE’



The Swaziland Government is broke and ‘living from hand to mouth’, according to an independent newspaper in the kingdom.

It has so little money that it relies on tax revenues to pay bills and this has meant that salaries of public servants have been paid late in recent months.

The Government is taking taxes collected by the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA) and making decisions on how immediately to spend the money.

The Times Sunday reported (16 October 2017) that the SRA collected money daily and deposited it in the government coffers known as the consolidated fund each week.

The newspaper reported Martin Dlamini, Minister of Finance said a cash flow crisis surfaces when there were extraordinary expenses.

The news of the budget crisis came at the same time it was revealed that senior public servants received an 18.9 pay increase this month. Meanwhile, ordinary public servants have been told by government they will get no increase at all this year.

The Times Sunday also reported fears that the Swazi Government was not remitting public servant subscriptions to cooperatives. Aubrey Sibiya, President of the National Public Service and Allied Workers’ Union, told the newspaper that members of the cooperative were being told they could not take out loans because they had not paid subscriptions.

‘We suspect that government is not remitting subscriptions,’ the Times reported him saying.

On Wednesday (19 October 2017), it was reported the government had borrowed E1.2 billion  from the Central Bank of Swaziland.

In September 2017 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that increased government spending in Swaziland resulted in the highest deficit since 2010. It said the outlook for the future of the economy was ‘fragile’ and that the medium term outlook was ‘unsustainable’ without policy changes.

It also said the governance of public entities was poor.

The IMF recommended that the government should contain ‘the bloated government wage bill’, curb non-essential purchases and prioritize capital outlays.

See also

SWAZI KING’S BUDGET INCREASES US$14 MILLION

THREAT TO LIFE AS GOVERNMENT DOESN’T PAY BILLS

SWAZI MPs REJECT NATIONAL BUDGET
U.S. SAYS BUDGET LACKS TRANSPARENCY