Swaziland urged to hike witch-doctor tax

2012-12-07 22:14

Mbabane - A Swazi Member of Parliament has urged the government to hike taxes on traditional healers and soothsayers to help solve a funding crisis in Africa's last absolute monarchy.

The mediums, known as sangomas in the landlocked southern African nation, pay an annual 10 emalangeni ($1.15) licence fee, but MP Majahodvwa Khumalo said they had jacked up their fees fourfold in the last few years and should pay more.

"A majority of our people consult traditional healers but the money they pay to government falls far too short of the money they make," he told parliament.

Swaziland's budget deficit ballooned to 15% of its annual economic output in 2010 but the government managed to keep itself afloat by running through central bank reserves and delaying payment of wages to civil servants.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) declined to launch a bailout because of reluctance by King Mswati III, who has at least a dozen wives and a personal fortune estimated at $200m, to cut royal or military spending.

The IMF has continued to press for reductions to what is officially Africa's most bloated bureaucracy. In an in-depth assessment of the economy published in February, it rated the scope for raising more taxes as "small".

  • nicholas.graan - 2012-12-07 22:39

    They don't have a funding crises, they have a King crises ..

      ann.soprano.9 - 2012-12-07 23:09

      Yes, what is it with African "leaders" that they have to economically rape the country they are supposed to be leading. David Cameron or Angela Merkel or even Barak Obama don't lead the extravagant lifestyles that the Swazi King or Jacob Zuma have, and their countries are so much more powerful and richer. Is it a case of African leaders having to prove something or are they just plain greedy?

  • fef.gericke - 2012-12-07 22:44

    this is living proof of evolution...or the lack of it!

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-12-07 22:54

    Look, I'm not into noddy doctors, but that is the least of their worries with that pig president.

  • Nhlanhla L. Mndebele - 2012-12-07 23:01

    I think the IMF is correct in not classifying Swaziland as a poor country. The right questions need to be posed into what happens to the Tibiyo and Tisuka investment accounts because if those accounts were utilized in the correct manner, Swaziland wouldn't be in such dire straits as it is today. They need to go back and look into the original concepts of those accounts before they got high jacked by greedy lunatics.

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-12-08 03:47

    Whiskey tango foxtrot...get rid of King Prick..problem solved !!

  • dylan1972 - 2012-12-08 06:27

    JZ with enough wives to count on a few fingers... Mswati with enough wives to count on fingers and toes... Tails next and climb back into the trees... That is how close we are to reverse evolution in my opinion!

  • dbo.kacebisa - 2012-12-08 06:36

    This story is about Swazi King not JZ lets comment to it as such. Funny the other races scoff at our Kings but when woman in uk sneezes they all catch the cold. We as Africans (refer to the SBB defination of the word 'African') do respect your queens so if u gonna dis our Kings it wont help in reconciliation. I thank me

      goyougoodthing - 2012-12-08 07:22

      Kings belong in the past. All of them. If YOU want to pay for a King then YOU pay for him. If he's like Sweaty and steals ALL of your money then so be it. Don't take MINE though, I'm not into kings and don't respect any of them.

  • - 2012-12-08 08:24

    This one party state...King and all does not work, our leaders are so corrupt, dishonest and running after money. Wanting respect...but forget that respect is earned. They pretend to be a christain country, but they have one foot in the bible and they other foot in witchcraft...not hot or cold. No country can prosper this way and South Africa is not much different! You cannot serve God and the devil @ the same time!!!

  • trudiroos.potter - 2012-12-08 15:53

    Very shallow end of the gene-pool!

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