Excesses in a Starving Nation

Well, he is at it again.  King Mswati of Swaziland has just bought ten BMWs for his wives at a cost his poverty stricken nation can hardly afford.  IOL reported on this yesterday afternoon:

Swazi king buys 10 BMWs for his wives


Mbabane – Swazi King Mswati III has purchased 10 new BMWs for
the royal household – two months after buying a super-expensive sedan
for himself while his subjects continue living in abject poverty, a
newspaper reported on Sunday.

Africa’s last absolute monarch spent some five million emalangeni
(R5-million) on BMWs for his wives, the Mbabane-based Times Sunday

"It is true that new cars have been purchased for emakhosikati (queens)
to his majesty… This is basically an upgrade of the ones they have
been using," the chief executive officer of the king’s office, Roy
Fanourakis, told the newspaper.

This comes after it emerged in December that Mswati had bought himself
a $500 000 (about R3-million) Daimler Chrysler flagship Maybach 62 as
his debt-ridden country continues battling Aids and crippling poverty.

It just blows my mind that a king can be so blind to the suffering of his own people.  If ever there was a reason for an intervention, this is it.  Is King Mswati’s behaviour any better than Saddam Hussein?  Perhaps when the motivation for such interventions is to safeguard human life and not oil and economic benefit we will see a stronger response (or any response, for that matter) to such a flagrant disregard for human life.

The article does continue …

The 36-year-old King Mswati is no stranger to controversy and
frequently hits the headlines with stories of the lavish lifestyle he
leads with his 11 wives and two teenage fiancees.

On his birthday in April last year, he bought 10 BMW seven series
vehicles for himself and some of his wives. This year he is expected to
spend some six million emalangeni (about R6-million) on his birthday
party on April 25.

He is also building 10 new palaces for his wives at a cost of 100 million emalangeni.

Swaziland’s government owes its suppliers more than 150 million
emalangeni which dates back to 2002 and the country’s budget deficit
stands at 800 million emalangeni.

Swaziland, a small country wedged between South African and Mozambique
with a population of one million, has the highest Aids rate in the
world at 38,8 percent and about a third of the impoverished nation
relies on food aid for survival. – Sapa-AFP


Published on the Web by IOL on 2005-02-13 14:50:13

My big question is why I don’t see a response from my own government to this misbehaviour?

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