Swazi protesters call for reform

2011-03-18 10:41

Nearly 5 000 demonstrators gathered in the main streets of Swaziland’s capital, protesting against the government’s call to freeze civil service salaries.

The austerity budget has galvanised an anti-monarchy movement in the southern African country of about a million. Some protesters today carried signs saying: “We want political reforms.”

Last month the Swaziland budget presented calls for freezing civil service salaries for the next three years and selling off state-run companies.

Swazi Minister of Finance Majozi Sithole has blamed corruption for some of his kingdom’s financial problems.

He complained, for instance, about doctors claiming payment from the health ministry for hours not worked, and officials travelling on funds meant for medication for rural clinics.

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