The King of Swaziland has been accused of ‘showing the m-iddle finger’ to his country’s impov-erished population after alle*edly spending £13million on a fleet of luxury cars for his 14 wives. King Mswati III has imported 19 Rolls-Royces and as many as 120 BMWs
According to reports, some of which were seen being delivered earlier this month.Witnesses spotted BMW X3 and 5-Series models, which can cost more than £30,000 each, under wraps on the back of a truck as they were shipped from South Africa. The average salary in Swaziland is estimated to be only £10,000 a year – meaning a typical worker would have to toil for 70 years to afford a Rolls-Royce – and the lavish spending has sparked outrage in the country. Opposition politician Wandile Dludlu ac*used the King of continuing to ‘sp-oil himself and his family,’ according to TimesLive. ‘To say this is a blatant display of arr-ogance and total d!srega-rd of the poor people of Swaziland’s feelings by the monarch would be an understatement,’ he said.
‘He is basically showing them a middle finger and proving to all and sundry that he is a law unto himself.’Investigative journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika called it ‘heartbreaking news’ as he shared one of the pictures.’Amidst all the economic challenges Eswatini, King Mswati III yesterday decided to bless his wives with very expensive wheels,’ he said. The King was ac*used of ‘spo-iling’ his own family while the rest of the population ‘continue star-ving’, according to one Twitter user who said the monarch ‘doesn’t care much’.
Mswati III, who was educated for a time at Sherborne School in Dorset, renamed the country Eswatini in 2018 to mark his 50th birthday and the 50th anniversary of independence from Britain. The monarch has 14 wives (after one reportedly d!ed of skin canc-er), more than 25 children and a reputation for lavish spending.With unre-str!cted political power over his 1.3 million people, he is the only absolute monarch on the continent and one of the few remaining in the world. On the throne since 1986, Mswati has previously attracted controversy over his purchase of a £200million luxury jet.
According to one esti-mate, the average salary in the country is only £10,000 a year – meaning the King’s typical subject would have to work for around 70 years and spend nothing else to be able to afford one of the Rolls-Royces he bought. The World Food Programme esti-mates that 63 percent of the country’s population lives below the poverty line. In addition, more than a quarter of people aged 15 to 49 are believed to be living with H!V.According to NGOs, 10 percent of the population is responsible for around half of the nation’s consumption.
The UK provided around £300,000 foreign ai-d to the country last year, according to government figures. In 2017, Minister of State for International Development, Alistair Burt, revealed Britain had provided £6.8million in aid to Swaziland since 1997. Earlier this year, public service workers took to the streets of the capital Mbabane to demand higher pay. Opposition leader Dludlu cla!med that civil servants have not received a promised pay rise in three years while the country’s health system is said to be on the verge of collapse.
’Notwithstanding the outrage of Swazis over the purchase of the Rolls Royce vehicles, the King Mswati-led government continued to rub salt into the gaping wound suf-fered by people by purchasing a further 120 BMWs and 30 motorbikes,’ he said.’We strongly condemn in the strongest possible terms this brazen looting of the oppressed people of Swaziland’s hard-earned taxes.’
Dludlu called on residents to ‘stand up and face up to this ev-il regi-me that continues to keep us in bondage’.He added: ‘Under no circumstances can we allow one family to continuously condemn us to poverty. It is about time that we f!ght back and recl-aim what rightfully belongs to us.’
HEARTBREAKING NEWS: Amidst all the economic challenges eSwazitini, King Mswati III yesterday decided to bless his wives with very expensive wheels pic.twitter.com/QzGTT1uvfC
— Mzilikazi wa Afrika (@IamMzilikazi) October 30, 2019
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