It was a good political strategy for the eSwatini Government to try and manipulate soldiers and the police by promising them E100million for promotions and recruitment, however, this remains a temporary tactic to deal with the division and power-struggle within the armed forces in the midst of the political unrest.
Perhaps, it is important to bring to the attention of security officers that in this country, we have Senior Superintendents who earn as little as three thousand(R3000.00) after deductions because they are trapped in debts.
This means regardless of promotions and salary increase, the lives of these officers will continue to be stagnant because King Mswati long created a financial system to systematically grab back the money from the pockets of all officers.
Apart from the endless contributions demanded from these officers, royal linked money-lending companies like Select Management Services are ripping-off security officers and other civil servants and take part of the money back to Mswati through various business syndicates.
At the end, you find a senior police officer or Army General struggling to buy a decent shoe, some of them have their bank cards confiscated by shylocks such that they are always escorted by shylocks whenever they withdraw their salaries.
It is important for Finance Minister Neal Rijkenberg to understand that a majority of the soldiers and the police are now educated and they cannot be easily fooled by a propaganda implying that Government was caring for the welfare of the security officers yet it’s the King trying to massage the armed forces not to topple him.
As reported by the Times, Government wants to utilize E100million for promotions and recruitments within the armed forces.
Government has tried before to raise salaries for security officers but some of these officers are living in poverty despite being employed because of money-lending companies linked to Mswati.
It is worth mentioning that as the situation stands, with the COVID-19 and political unrest threatening the collection of adequate taxes subsequent to a decline to both Domestic and Foreign Direct Investments(FDI), government cannot just splash millions to security officers unless there is a system in place to grab the money back to Mswati’s pocket.
As mentioned, there are many senior officers who were promoted by the regime and had their salaries increased, however, they are living in poverty today because the current political system was established to improve the lives of royal family members not ordinary citizens.
Mswati has many strategies to grab money from the pockets of security officers and this include among others, the royal linked money-lending companies,tinhlawulo (traditional fines), tetfulo(gifts) and kuphekisa iNgwenyama(contributions for royal events).
At the end, the E100million will go back to Mswati and the officers will continue living in poverty because that’s what this political system wants.
Some of them may shoot and kill innocent citizens during protests hoping to be recognized by the authorities for promotions, but the truth is, they will continue living in poverty until a democratic government with the interests of the people takes over.