It's important to remember that Parliament has no power to influence government policy or plans, and it is therefore not surprising that the speech by the King offers no clear interventions on getting the economy working, providing quality education and health care amongst other priority areas. It makes no mention on how government will address issues raised by IMF, the African Development Bank and others on measures pertinent to building a sustainable economy and social landscape in Swaziland. Mswati III mentions no reforms on political issues, the Judicial System or enhancement of rights for the people of Swaziland even though 2013 is supposed to be an election year
Mswati III in his speech highlights key priorities for government for 2012. He explains that 2011 was a difficult year because of the economic downturn, which left Swaziland financially crippled as revenues from SACU were limited; and that he has key strategies that will ensure the economy does not falter again.
In outlining his "strategies" Mswati III highlight the following:
- Mswati III has decided that relying on SACU receipts is not viable and cannot sustain the Swazi government and the false economy of Swaziland. And as a result King Mswati III is calling on government parastatals to invest in Swaziland to bolster the economy instead of investing outside the country. He is also calling on Swazi people to start businesses to create jobs and build the economy. The King's plans for economic revival also rely on attracting investment into the country through providing a favourable political climate and infrastructure.
- Throughout his speech the King calls to the Swazi people to play their part in building a sustainable economy, and to work hard, but does not mention what government or himself will do to ensure that Swazis can play at an advantage.
- The King calls to all Swazis that "THIS IS A TIME FOR EVERY SWAZI TO STAND UP AND BE COUNTED AMONGST THOSE WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THE ECONOMIC REVIVAL OF OUR COUNTRY."
- He also says " THE MINING SECTOR ALSO HAS A HUGE POTENTIAL TO CONTRIBUTE TO OUR ECONOMIC GROWTH AND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES."
There is nothing practical and new in the speech delivered by Mswati III, and it indicates that the King and his men have no pactical solutions on getting Swaziland working again.
The best recommendation is for the King to give power to the people so that the people can determine where best to deploy the little funds available. Furthermore, people will have more courage to deploy their own resources into the economy if there will be fair and equal advantage. People will be encouraged to work hard again and hopefully build enterprises that can provide enough food and export products to generate a vibrant economy in a democratic society.
In cases where there has been successful State-led development there has been strict and clear goals, objectives and strategies, King Mswati III gives NONE. Instead he gives clear indication how he will keep enriching himself at the expense of the Swazi people.
Read the complete speech here: