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SCHOOLS OPENING: Forcing parents to pay school fees for last year amounts to political madness.

Saturday, 20th March, 2021

When a whole government that has been facilitating the legal processes of retrenching workers employed by private companies issues an order, forcing poor parents to pay school fees for last year, that amounts to 'political madness'.

Government is in possession of reports compiled by organisations linked to the United Nations(UN) suggesting that over 300 000 people in this country are urgently in need of food aid, this figure forms part of the over 700 000 citizens who are living below the poverty line, surviving with a mere E15.00 per day.

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation, those who were lucky to secure employment, assisting their poor relatives with food and school fees can no longer do so because they were retrenched while some were laid-off.

It is very disturbing to note that at the time when citizens across the country are wondering where to receive the next meal, the Government that should be providing a solution  is adding more frustration by demanding the payment of school fees for last year.

This demand is made to people who were pushed to poverty by the very same government that taxes them to the bone for the survival of King Mswati and his family, after all, its His Majesty’s Government not for the people.

It was wrong in first place for one human being to own a Government, such ‘political madness’ demonstrates the thinking capacity of King Mswati, being the owner of this dictatorship Government.

It is clear now that Acting Prime Minister Senator Themba Masuku announced the opening of schools without resources, hoping to force parents to pay school fees for last year, the very same Government that is sending the Eswatini Revenue Authority(SRA) to grab everything from the pockets of the citizens.

The justification by Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education that pupils were learning through the radio during the lockdown does not make sense, parents spent more money on food and other costs for the whole year because the children were at home, there is no evidence at this juncture substantiating that the radio learning was effective to warrant a payment.

It is very surprising that even during such difficult times of a global crisis, this Government does not want to spend money to fund social projects including education that seeks to improve the lives of the people.

After the collapse of the health system, people are now expected to buy medication from their pockets in the various Pharmacies and hire private Ambulances among others in the midst of all these social challenges perpetrated by the government but their payslips reflects that Pay as You Earn(PAYE) is deducted every month from their salaries.

Furthermore, the citizens are expected to pay school fees for educational services that were never rendered to their children, what is Government doing with the taxes collected from the people that should be funding the education to ease pressure from the parents?

The answer is simple, Government collects money to sustain King Mswati’s lavish lifestyle, the sentiments suggesting that the King and his Government cares for the people now remain an expired propaganda that cannot be sustained anymore, government wants the people to be poor.

In conclusion, let me request Members of Parliament(MPs) to move a motion and stop the payment of school fees for last year, citizens are frustrated by the financial challenges that came with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the King’s Government is adding salt to the bleeding wound.

SCHOOLS OPENING: Forcing parents to pay school fees for last year amounts to political madness.
Education Minister Lady Howard-Mabuza