Swaziland. A chief judge in Swaziland in January introduced a ban on alcohol after a series of violent incidents, when drunken youths assaulted older people with spears. Among other things, a man had been murdered by his sons. Qomntaba is one of the largest among Swaziland’s 385 chief reviews. High unemployment among young people has led to the abuse of alcohol and drugs, according to the chief’s spokesman.
A study from Columbia University in the US showed that climate change in southern Africa is leading to the spread of HIV again. Girls who grow up in severe drought are at increased risk of leaving school, and in urban areas five times the risk of selling six. People are driven by drought, which threatens the progress made in the fight against HIV. People lose social networks, end up in high-risk sex, become infected with HIV or stop their HIV treatment. Swaziland drought-stricken has the highest proportion of HIV-infected people in the world, over 27% aged 15-49.
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The new government that took office after the 2018 elections had several former business leaders as ministers, which led to a new economic policy. According to Finance Minister Neal Rijkenberg, Swaziland’s economic crisis was worse than ever before. Foreign investment decreased, expenditure increased and GDP shrank. This year’s budget meant cuts, even in the monarchy of the single king, which was unusual.
Public employees demanded salary increases, but according to Rijkenberg, the country could not afford. The Snat teacher union planned a strike at the beginning of the year, but it was banned in court. Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini threatened with dismissal or soaring fines for strikes.
A new strike was planned for September. Dlamini again threatened the participants, who demanded compensation of 7.8% for increased prices and accused the government of wasting tax on the king’s luxury life.
The strike went on for over a week before it was stopped by the court. Kravall police intervene against thousands of striking protesters in Manzini, the country’s economic center. Many were injured when police used sharp ammunition, tear gas and rubber bullets. A union leader was shot in the back, according to the banned opposition party PUDEMO.
In October, police reportedly beat a 17-year-old to death for causing him to confess to a robbery. It turned out that the boy did not belong to the gang that carried out the robbery. Swaziland police have a long history of violence.
In December, police arrested several opposition politicians and union leaders and seized their phones and computers. During the year, the government planned for a solar power plant to reduce the country’s dependence on electricity from South Africa. About 80% of the electricity is imported from there.
According to CountryAAH, the population of Swaziland in 2019 was 1,148,019, ranking number 159 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.040% yearly, and the population density was 66.7517 people per km2.