It was one of the biggest blunders for Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini and the entire Cabinet to just implement a lockdown without a clear framework how these people particularly workers will survive for the duration of this national crisis.
It should be noted that directing workers to stay at home with nothing to feed themselves and their families might result to more deaths due to starvation hence an order should be directed to the Eswatini National Provident Fund(ENPF) to pay workers part of their savings as means of mitigating the financial challenges that comes with the coronavirus.
Furthermore, these employees have their monthly financial obligations, like servicing loans while some are quarantined in their rented flats,it remains the duty of government to negotiate with banks, money-lenders and landlords to be lenient with the people for the duration of this disaster.
It would therefore be in the interest of the people that Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini and the entire King’s government to, as a matter urgency, formulate a framework how the workers who are bread winners will survive with no income to pay rent, buy food and other basic necessities of life.
We cannot be excited about a lockdown that seeks to fight coronavirus while people are forced to die of starvation within their homes, this is more like telling them to run away from lions and throw themselves into a crocodile infested dam, end results would be the same, death.
It would therefore be in the interest of the people that part of the millions donated by businesspeople and or companies to fight the Coronavirus be used to assist the workers whose families might starve as result of the lockdown.
Furthermore, this is the right time for the Eswatini National Provident Fund(ENPF) to demonstrate that it was indeed established to assist the people during difficult times by paying them part of their savings as means to mitigating the financial challenges that comes with the lockdown.
It should be understood that a lockdown comes with extra costs for the family that were not budgeted for, the more children and their parents stay at home, food and other basic commodities should be sufficient to sustain them.
King Mswati’s children are enjoying the lockdown at the luxurious Royal Villas where they are quarantined, they are being fed balanced food at the expense of the taxpayers and we shouldn’t conclude that for all eMaswati, the lockdown is glittering.
In fact, tears might drop if one can imagine the lockdown at Lavumisa where there is scarcity of food and water and compare the plight of these poor Swazis with the ‘holiday vacation’ of the King’s children who were accommodated at Royal Villas upon their return from Europe.
We have seen the Provident Fund pumping money into activities like the Imbube Marathon and we call upon them to provide monies for these workers who are likely to starve during the lockdown, after all its their money and those who are willing to access it should be allowed without any restrictions.
Provident Fund CEO Prince Lonkhonkhela