STATEMENT BY H.E THE RT HON PRIME MINISTER
MR AMBROSE MANDVULO DLAMINI
AT THE COVID 19 SENSITIZATION EXERCISE
WEDNESDAY 3 JUNE 2020
Your Royal Highnesses
Speaker of the House of Assembly & MP for Mhlambanyatsi Inkhundla
Members of both Houses of Parliament
COVID 19 National Task Team
Members of the Regional Task Team
Senior Government officials
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is my pleasure to join you all here today for this leg of the ongoing nationwide sensitization exercise on the COVID-19 pandemic.
This sensitization exercise demonstrates the strength and relevance of the Tinkhundla system of government whose core mandate is grassroots development. Government is benefitting from the efficiency of the Tinkhundla system which has a strong link with the people on the ground to ensure that COVID 19 messages are spread to more people.
We are living through an unprecedented time in our history when a virus has taken hold of our way of life in a manner we have never known before. It goes without saying that without a consented effort to be actively involved in all efforts to contain the spread of the virus, we may be heading for more challenging times.
This phenomenon is not unique to us as a country but the entire globe is grappling with this unyielding virus which continues to threaten our lives and livelihoods.
We are grateful in this country to have Their Majesties who have taken a leading role in helping Emaswati navigate these tough times. It was His Majesty King Mswati III who commanded Government to declare a National Emergency which gave birth to the National Task Force that is coordinating all the efforts to fight COVID 19.
The National Task Force, working through many clusters including Regional teams, has covered a lot of ground educating Emaswati about the virus and easing the burden many citizens are carrying in the midst of a virus that has forced the closure of many businesses, especially small and medium sized businesses.
Using Tinkhundla structures we have been able to spread COVID 19 information and health precaution messages that are crucial in equipping all our people at all levels on how to deal with the pandemic.
Knowledge is power and Government is confident that the sensitisation exercise has impacted adequate knowledge needed to fight the pandemic. It is not yet time to relax and slow down in reaching more people. We expect community representatives to embark on a door to door sensitization exercise of their own. Community leaders have a huge role to play in ensuring compliance with the covid-19 regulations in their communities.
Government recognises the contribution of our development partners who have donated masks, sanitizers and other necessary utilities that have been distributed in the different Tinkhundla over the past weeks.
Government also acknowledges the partnership forged with Montigny relating to the provision of accommodation for employees posted at the newly built Inkhundla structure. The Ministry of Tinkhundla Administration and Development reached an agreement with Montigny to acquire the old Inkhundla structure for their use in exchange of building staff houses for the workers. Ensuring that staff is accommodated closer to the Inkhundla helps in enhancing the effective decentralization of Government services.
At a time when this stubborn virus is not yet relenting, it is also important to persist encouraging our people to observe high hygiene standards and adopt the practice of social distancing as fundamental in the fight against coronavirus. Government insists that we should all wear face masks in public at all times and at home if we are experiencing flu symptoms. We should never get tired of regular washing hands or sanitizing them in the absence of running water and soap.
May I take this opportunity to thank the Minister of Tinkhundla and his team for their energetic efforts in making sure that the sensitization exercise continues at a high and effective pace across all regions of the Kingdom.
It would be amiss of me to omit recognizing the role of community leaders and Regional Administrators in ensuring that the COVID 19 response exercise becomes effective. Our communities, though adversely affected by this virus, have embraced this exercise and are working hand in hand with Government and non governmental agencies to help the country contain the spread.
My gratitude also goes to the Manzini regional COVID 19 task team under the leadership of umntfwanenkhosi Chief Gija. The team’s facilitation skills are commendable and I am confident that the groups that you sensitized have greatly benefitted from your sessions.
As I conclude may I acknowledge the role played by the Honourable Speaker of the House of Assembly who is also a Member of Parliament for this Inkhundla.
All over the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has tested the strength and resilience of our health systems. We are seized with the responsibility to make sure that no more lives are lost to this disease. The responsibility to save live begins with an individual, families and communities.
Government will continue to support all initiatives aimed at combating the pandemic and we are committed to constantly engaging all stakeholders from time to time.
Thank you. May God bless us all.