Opposition urges Western sanctions against Swaziland

Swaziland / World Mission

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage: “EZULWINI VALLEY, Swaziland (Reuters) – The King of Swaziland rivals Africa’s worst leaders and rich nations should impose sanctions on the tiny kingdom to force change, the leader of the country’s illegal main opposition party said.

Despite criticism of King Mswati abroad, Swaziland’s outlawed opposition has failed to harness much support at home partly because many ordinary people back him as a symbol of national unity and brand Western democracy ‘un-Swazi’.

But Mario Masuku, head of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), said Mswati — sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch — was stifling free speech and plundering national resources to bankroll his lavish lifestyle.

‘Nearly 70 percent of Swazis live in abject poverty yet the king can afford 10 BMW cars,’ he told Reuters in an interview this week.

He said the 37-year-old monarch rivalled the rulers of apartheid South Africa, Congo’s late Mobuto Sese Seko and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe for political and economic mismanagement.

‘He is no better than the Mobuto Sese Sekos of this world who live in filthy rich conditions when thousands can’t afford to eat,’ Masuku said in a hotel near the king’s palace in Swaziland’s royal valley.

The king’s private secretary dismissed the criticism, saying Mswati served his people fairly and ruled in consultation with an elected government. ‘Mario knows he is lying,’ private secretary Sam Mkhombe told Reuters.”

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1 Comment

  1. Thambolekhentakhi says

    Oh, yes. I suppose there wouldn’t be much wrong with a head of state living a luxurious life if there were ample resources for the rest of the population. However, to live opulently in the midst of abject poverty is what the South African politician and businessman Cyril Ramaphosa terms “social incensitivity”. Frankly, I think it boils down to mindlessness. I mean, think, dude! There are people out there starving.

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