Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage: “Human rights groups have accused Mswati of trampling on free speech, flouting the rule of law and plundering the impoverished nation to bankroll his extravagant lifestyle. Experts say he is deterring investors in an economy desperate for new lifeblood.
While Manana’s sentiment about the king was echoed by many Swazis on the streets of the country’s capital, it was unclear how many felt free to speak their mind.
Milo, 21, declined to give her family name, ‘because I don’t want to be disadvantaged because of what I say’.
She said the king was becoming ‘power hungry’, but she still believed the monarchy was a unifying cultural force that had helped keep the peace after independence while regional neighbours like Mozambique and Angola slid into civil war.
Swaziland’s outlawed opposition party PUDEMO says people are afraid to criticise the king.
‘As long as there is no freedom of expression, people will always say what a despot or dictator wants them to say,’ PUDEMO leader Mario Masuku told Reuters in the royal Ezulwini Valley.
But Masuku says discontent is growing, and there were some signs ordinary people have had enough of 37-year-old Mswati.”