Monday 25 September 2017
(Times of swaziland 05/08/13)
Almost five years after the last elections, Parliament has been ambushed with a raft of election laws on the eve of the elections slated for August, this year. The question, as I see it, is whether this is by coincidence or design. Here, I am reminded of the immortal words of the late statesman Mabalizandla Nhlabatsi during the halcyon days of the Liqoqo hegemony in the mid-1980s, when he cautioned fellow legislators about the pitfalls of blindly enacting laws that might one day haunt them. The turn-about came when the very same laws the late Nhlabatsi had warned about that had been used to incarcerate and silence opponents of the Liqoqo regime were invoked to send to prison some of...
(Swazi Observer 05/08/13)
IMPLEMENTATION of the Economic Recovery Strategy (ERS) in Swaziland will result in a financial injection of almost E30 billion from the private sector. Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Jabulile Mashwama said the ERS task team tabled its first progress report in Senate which acknowledged that the implementation of the ERS would bring a financial injection of almost E30 billion from the private sector in the next three to five years. She said it spoke of having identified 12 projects which if successfully implemented would result in the projected financial boost. Mashwama said it would create 40 500 new employment opportunities in the process. report “The report was at pains to point out that these projects in the mining, energy,...
(Swazi Observer 05/08/13)
Two months after the formal opening of SAfAIDS’ Swaziland office at the Manzini AIDS Centre, activity is intense as the business of dissemination is carried out. As Mphumelelo Nhleko, the Communications Director, told AIDS LIFELINE this week, there is a difference between distributing information and “disseminating it.” In fact, SAfAIDS stands for the Southern Africa AIDS Information Dissemination Service. Distributing information can simply be handing out documents, videos or other communication products to potential users. If the recipients are properly motivated and interested, they will look at the document. It is up to the document to do the work of being clear. The document has to explain itself. No one will be standing beside the reader explaining the documents contents...
(Swazi Observer 05/07/13)
THE Komati Downstream Development Project (KDDP) generates revenue of over E200 million per annum. Minister of Agriculture Clement Dlamini said the KDDP was a poverty reduction strategy which uses water as the engine for development in the rural areas of the country under the Swaziland Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise (SWADE). He said under the KDDP, 5 207 hectares (ha) have been developed out of the target of 6 000 ha, adding that the revenue was mainly from sugar cane. Dlamini said the E200 million yearly income would increase as there was an additional area for cultivation in Madlangempisi. “Employment figures for the project area have increased to over 1 189 people in 2012 and they will rise in 2013...
(Swazi Observer 05/07/13)
They owe the taxpayer money that runs into thousands of Emalangeni. In a bid to correct this anomaly, the force’s authorities have summoned some of the ‘highly’ paid officers to alert them on the anomaly and further instructed them to refund government all the illegal monies accrued. Commissioner of Police Isaac Magagula’s headaches seem far from over as some of the police officers have run to lawyers while others are said to be contemplating reviving the defunct police union. The general feeling among the officers is that their authorities should resolve this matter in the best way possible excluding deducting anything from their salaries because it was entirely not their (officers) fault. A section of them though is said to...
(Times of swaziland 05/06/13)
MBABANE – While premier Sibusiso Dlamini feels he is ready for yet another term at 71, some unionists believe he should take retirement because it is unhealthy for him to work full-time at his age. In an interview with our sister publication, the Times SUNDAY, the premier said he was ready for another term if appointed.a However, unionists said Dlamini should rather be used as a reference because of his wealth of experience in politics and give others a chance to lead the country. Others said the premier’s comeback could mean another five years of what they termed oppression because of Dlamini’s alleged iron handed manners. Old Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) Secretary General Nkosinathi Kunene said: “Retirement was purposely...
(Swazi Observer 05/06/13)
SWAZIBANK has invested close to E492 million in the local economy in just a year. This is part of the bank’s promise of injecting E500 million into the Swazi economy as announced by the late Managing Director Stanley Matsebula last year. SwaziBank Public Relations Officer Phesheya Vilakati said the money was injected into the economy as at April 1, 2012 to March 2013. He said it was invested in different portfolios namely housing; car; agri-business; personal; small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) finance; and corporate loans. Vilakati said SMMEs have so far received E22.8 million, adding that the bank would continue to finance this sector because it was the engine of economic growth in Swaziland. “Close to E37 million was...
(Swazi Observer 05/06/13)
FLABBERGASTED Members of Parliament have unleashed an accusing finger to government for clandestinely working towards toppling the current Tinkhundla system of governance and replace it with a multi-party system. The legislators took turns tearing into the now controversial elections Bills that were tabled by Justice Minister Mgwagwa Gamedze in parliament a week ago. The MPs were locked in a two-day workshop at Esibayeni Lodge where they informally discussed the Bills. They were led by Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) Deputy Chairman Mzwandile Fakudze who is a lawyer by profession. He once served as deputy attorney general in the country. MPs itchiness revolved around the Elections Expenses and the Parliament Petitions Bills. They are of the view that certain clauses in...
(Swazi Observer 05/03/13)
TODAY the world comes together to commemorate World Press Freedom Day, bring together a cocktail of sad tales about the assassination of a free press the world over. In Swaziland, journalists and other stakeholders hope to attract public sympathy by, among other things, taking a walk from the city park in Mbabane to the government offices, where some atrocities on a free media are cooked. Journalists in Swaziland have nothing to celebrate. Apart from the JMC media awards their work has not enjoyed any recognition but instead has been watered down by a host of hostile legislation and institutional persecution through the assistance of the courts as evidenced by the number and outcome of cases against journalists or publications. These...
(Huffingtonpost 04/30/13)
Students in the UK have been urged to campaign to pressure Swaziland to free an NUS president and human rights campaigner who has been arrested and reportedly tortured. Maxwell Dlamini has been charged with sedition against the Swaziland government after taking part in a Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) rally earlier this month, it was was revealed over the weekend. On Tuesday, the National Union of Students (NUS) told The Huffington Post UK Dlamini had been tortured since his arrest last week but could not disclose its sources. The union has now written to Mark Simmonds MP calling on him to urge the UK to pressure Swaziland to free Dlamini. The NUS is also asking UK students to get involved, by...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/30/13)
Economic development researchers on Monday unveiled a database of China's aid to Africa in an effort to work around Beijing's secrecy about the numbers, as a debate rages over the intentions and impact of Chinese assistance. The study and database by the Washington-based Center for Global Development and AidData, a research project, includes 1,673 Chinese development finance projects worth $75 billion in 50 African countries from the years 2000-2011. The Chinese figures, using standard measures of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and Other Official Finance (OOF), are roughly on par with U.S. aid to Africa during the same period, the Center for Global Development said. While official ODA from Western countries and some major developing countries is openly reported and easily...
(Swazi Observer 04/25/13)
AT least 15 tourism establishments will be co-exhibiting with the Swaziland Tourism Authority (STA) during the forthcoming Tourism Indaba. The tourism extravagant is scheduled for May 11-14 in Durban, South Africa. The co-exhibitors include hotel establishments such as Mountain Inn, Foresters Arms Hotel, Sun International, Sibane Hotel, Hawane Resorts, Global Village, The George Hotel, Mantenga Lodge and Happy Valley Hotel. Other co-exhibitors are Swazi Trails, Ngwenya Glass, Swaziland National Trust Commission (SNTC), Swaziland Civil Aviation Authority (SWACAA) and Community Projects. Etinyatsi Tours & Safaris, Nhlangano Casino Royale, Maguga Lodge, Pigg’s Peak Hotel and Casino, Nkonyeni Lodge and Golf Estates, Royal Villas and Holiday Free Finder would accompany the Swazi team as walk-arounds. This means these entities would not be exhibiting...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/22/13)
African finance ministers told their rich nation counterparts at weekend meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to work harder and faster to kick-start their economies to avoid a prolonged slump that could undermine strong growth in the developing world. "We are concerned," Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said at the meetings of global finance leaders. "If we continue to see slow growth in the euro zone, which provides a large market for many African countries, and is coupled with a slowdown in emerging economies, then we will become more vulnerable," Okonjo-Iweala told a news conference of African finance ministers. "We need to insist that our partners in other parts of the world work harder and faster." Despite...
( 04/17/13)
MBABANE – A prodemocracy activist in Swaziland, arrested by police allegedly distributing political leaflets, could be charged with sedition. Wonder Mkhonza, National Organising Secretary of the banned People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), was taken in by police on 12 April when he was taking part in activities to mark the 40th anniversary of the Royal decree by King Sobhuza II that turned Swaziland from a democracy into a kingdom, ruled by an autocratic monarchy. The Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) reported that Mkhonza was originally detained by police in Lavumisa, a small town on the eastern part of the kingdom on Friday. SSN said this was the police’s way of keeping him from participating in the activities that were planned for...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/15/13)
Sub-Saharan Africa's economic growth should accelerate to more than 5 percent over the next three years, far outpacing the global average, but the region must do more to convert this into reducing poverty, the World Bank said on Monday. In its latest Africa's Pulse analysis of prospects for the region, the bank saw increased investment, high commodity prices and a pick-up in the global economy driving this expected growth surge in the world's poorest continent. It said foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to Sub-Saharan Africa were projected to increase to record levels each year over the next three years, reaching $54 billion by 2015. This compared to $37.7 billion in 2012, a 5.5 percent increase in a year when FDI...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/26/13)
"BRICS, Don't Carve Africa" reads a banner in a church hall in downtown Durban where civil society activists have gathered to cast a critical eye at a summit of five global emerging powers. The slogan evokes the 19th Century conference in Berlin where the predominant European colonial states carved up the African continent in a scramble historians see as epitomizing the brash exploitative capitalism of the time. Decades after Africans threw off the colonial yoke, it is the turn of the blossoming BRICS group of Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa to find their motives coming under scrutiny as they proclaim an altruistic-sounding "partnership for development, integration and industrialization" with Africa. Led by that giant of the emerging powers,...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/26/13)
President Barack Obama hosts the leaders of four African nations this week, all of which are cited in a new report for effectively increasing spending on agriculture to combat extreme poverty and hunger. The report by the ONE Campaign, an anti-poverty group co-founded by Irish rockers Bono and Bob Geldof, said Senegal, Malawi, Cape Verde and Sierra Leone either met or were close to meeting targets for increased budget spending on agriculture. All of the countries, except Cape Verde where there is little data, are also on track or close to meeting a U.N. target of halving extreme poverty by 2015, the report said. The African leaders will visit the White House on Thursday to showcase their fledgling democracies, but...
(The New York Times 03/26/13)
BEIJING — As President Xi Jinping of China continues his first overseas trip as his country’s leader, arriving in South Africa late on Monday after Russia and Tanzania, he meets with much goodwill – but also some concern among Africans that China may be a “new colonial power,” extracting resources and selling manufactured goods, as I reported on Sunday. China knows it. In a speech in Tanzania, Mr. Xi sought to calm the concerns, as my colleagues Chris Buckley and Jeffrey Gettleman reported. “China frankly faces up to the new circumstances and new problems in Sino-African relations,” Mr. Xi told an audience of Tanzanian politicians and officials in Dar es Salaam, the country’s economic hub and a center of government,...
(Times of swaziland 03/20/13)
MBABANE — The country’s judicial system is dead. This was an allegation made by Motshane Member of Parliament (MP) Robert Magongo in Parliament yesterday. The MP said judges were influenced and instructed by government on who to convict and what rulings to make. The outspoken former police officer made an emotionally charged submission in which he was consistent in his view that the country’s Judiciary didn’t afford the nation free and fair trials. Magongo said he was even prepared to go to jail, saying he had experienced jail life before as he spent 18 months at the Matsapha Maximum Correctional facility. He made these submissions before the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze, during his ministry’s budget...
(Times of swaziland 03/20/13)
EZULWINI – Government still has a lot of work to do with regards to dealing with the wage bill which consumes a large share of the budget. Yvette Babb, Africa Strategist- Standard Bank Group noted that the public sector wage bill was growing and there was a need for government to strike a balance in this regard. "The issue here is that there are a lot of employees within the public sector as opposed to the private sector. However, reducing employment within government will be very difficult and I do understand the hard decisions that government has to make to shrink the public sector due to the effects that may arise thereafter," she explained. Babb confirmed that government employed twice...

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