13 November 2019

Government wishes to emphasize that the continued attack on His Majesty the King in relation to the purchase of vehicles particularly the Rolls Royce fleet is misinformed. These vehicles were purchased privately and not through the public purse. No money from the National Budget went to the purchase of these cars.

Government takes full responsibility of the purchase of the BMW VIP and escort vehicles. As previously stated, the purchase of this fleet is in line with Government policy to replace cars after five years. Most of the VIP and escort vehicles being replaced now are 11 years old and others are no longer roadworthy. Older vehicles cost Government substantially in repairs. Government saves a lot of money from having a newer fleet because it comes with a warranty and service plan.

Government receives the public criticism regarding the purchase of the vehicles given the current financial situation in the country.  It is worth noting that the decision to replace the fleet was taken in July 2018 before austerity measures were put in place. A commitment was made with the supplier at that time hence the agreement could not be reversed now as doing so could lead to litigation which would come with adverse consequences for Government.

To this end, Government has been consistent in implementing the austerity measures and remains committed to doing so until our economy improves. We believe that Government is on the right track to achieve this, and would like to thank the public for the support we have been given since austerity measures were put in place in the past year.

Government has a Strategic Roadmap in place that serves as the master plan for all efforts towards improving our economy. It would be in the best interest of the country for all of us to be prepared to work together to ensure successful implementation of this strategy because it is at the axis of the socio-economic evolution of this country. We need to unite to uplift the standard of living for all Emaswati. This is no time to grow apart as a Nation.

Government appreciates the loyalty and commitment of the Nation particularly Civil Servants who have continued to work and service the Nation. We would like to appeal to all tertiary institutions to understand that the delay in paying allowances for Government sponsored students was caused by the transition from cheques to modern modes of monetary transactions - not cashflow challenges.

Government will continue to take Health, Education, Youth and the Elderly with the seriousness they all deserve despite the current financial constraints.  Government has been able to save from the Elderly Grant Verification Exercise it carried out early this year. It is therefore worth mentioning that:

  • Elderly grants will be increased to E500 from E400 a month.
  • Disability grants will increase from E180 to E280
  • Government is committed to ensuring that civil servants get their Cost of Living Adjustment in April next year. Pensioners will soon get their Cost of Living Adjustment.
  • Government sponsored students have already been paid E30 million as allowance for the past three months and will get their book allowance before the end of the month.
  • English will remain compulsory in schools but will no longer be a passing subject.
  • The Youth Fund Board will soon be finalizing a second round of business start-up funding with the first round disbursed in March this year having already created 190 jobs.
  • Government has availed a loan guarantee scheme to the value of E140 million for SME financing that local SME’s can now apply for.
  • The Ministry of Public Works and Transport is establishing a Road Agency Fund to ensure all our roads are properly maintained.
  • A sum of E82.2 million has been released to the Rural Development Fund.
  • Government has released all funds budgeted for medicines to the Ministry of Health to ensure consistent supply to the end of the financial year.
  • Government will provide a 50% subsidy to about 5800 farmers of maize, beans and sorghum who have applied for the Farm Input Subsidy Programme. This subsidy covers the purchase of seeds, fertilizer and lime.
  • Tractor hire services have been made available for all farmers for this farming season.

However, we note that opportunists have taken advantage of the current situation to ridicule the Head of State through misinformation that serves their own agendas. Government notes the proliferation of misguided utterances on social media and international media forums and would like to advise Emaswati to refuse to be drawn by elements that intend to destabilise the peace synonymous with our Kingdom.

We respect and recognize the rights of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. These rights do not extend to hate speech, inciting violence or supporting organisations that have been proscribed for terrorist activities in the Kingdom.

Any persons considering taking part in protest action should ensure that they do not violate the Suppression of Terrorism Act of 2008 as amended, or the Public Order Act of 2017 or any other law. Violations of the law will be prosecuted.

It is the responsibility of all Emaswati to respect and protect the integrity of the King and Ingwenyama as Head of State. Government will not tolerate statements that are demeaning to the person of His Majesty and the institution of the Monarchy. We appeal to all Emaswati to always project the respect for which we are proudly known for as we have no other country but Eswatini. Currently the Nation is in the season of Incwala where we expect all Emaswati to respect our tradition.

His Majesty’s Government is committed to protecting the peace and stability Eswatini has always been known for globally. We shall always be open to advice and criticism when our decisions are challenged.


Mr. Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini                                  

Prime Minister       

Kingdom of Eswatini

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