Saturday, November 12, 2011


The current  financial crisis in Europe has been caused because the residents of those countries were promised free lunches. This is according to many observers. When nations give their people welfare entitlements, it comes at a time when those entitlements  hits a wall, and the state is not able to meet them. Who is to blame now ? The politicians will always be blamed. Take a case of our parliamentarians-they have said that if they pay tax, then they will not pass bills in parliament. Here, the executive was held at ransom-why? The president had promised them free lunch-not to pay taxes, instead, they will be exempted-but the law does not exempt them. The politicians fought to the last to preserve their free lunch(they are still fighting), no matter the cost to the country. Now my question is: Will this crisis of the welfare state spill over to our country? Swaziland is unable to pay salaries to its employees, our government recently delayed to pay salaries to the teachers, and now, there are strikes in our state universities, and  in one of the biggest referral hospital in East and Central Africa; Kenyatta National Hospital employees are on strike because they were promised free lunch, which is not forthcoming. University lecturers are on strike, who knows who is next? This can be contagious as everybody now feels the pinch. The road from Rome may lead to Paris, Madrid and other European countries, and who knows whether it will cross the Sahara desert and come down to what  is referred as "Africa South of the Sahara"  countries where we are? Do you see these things happening? State employees have until recently been enjoying free pensions-(they have not been contributing), and I can bet that most pensions are broke. This is a free lunch promised to them by the powers that be. As life expectancy is expected to extend beyond 70 years  to some or more pensioners, they will draw their pensions on monthly basis, but where will that pension come from? I am seeing a situation whereby state employees who are promised free lunches is going to hit a wall, and the employees are not going to accept it, but fight to the end to preserve their free lunches. What about free education? This is a type of free lunch which unless sources to finance it are identified, it may hit the wall. 20% of the total population are the ones who pay the taxes-will they manage to shoulder 80% of the population? It is high time the government  and employers address this free lunch entitlements, and start reforming or dismantling  the entitlements. Any  thoughts?

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