Comprehensive report on muzzling of IMF

By BONISILE MAKHUBU on March 05,2011

Swazi TImes

MBABANE – Government will issue a comprehensive report on the issue of stopping the IMF mission from making statements to the media.

On Thursday, Minister of Finance, Majozi Sithole said he had told the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation led by Joannes Mongardini to stop interfering.

Sithole said government was not impressed by the recent statements from the IMF, which it viewed as trying to impose matters on the country.

He said the situation was so serious that he found himself having to request the IMF team to stop making statements to the media. When contacted on why government felt uncomfortable with the IMF statements, the office of the Prime Minister said government was going to report back on the issue.

The office was asked to cite the specific statements the IMF had made, which were viewed as dictatorship by the international body. "The minister concerned will make a comprehensive report on the issue. We cannot comment on it yet," it said.

Some of the things the IMF recommended to Swaziland was cutting the wage bill, which it said had become unsustainable. The mission also recommended a 10 per cent salary cut for government employees earning about E300 000 per year, which would also affect legislators. The delegation also recommended that Tibiyo TakaNgwane is also taxed, as they said it raked in a lot of money which would help boost the economy.

Other things cited by the mission included the quick implementation of the Fiscal Adjustment Roadmap and for the country to cut on spending and work on increasing revenue collection in order to stop the reliance on the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) receipts.