Sunday, September 07, 2008

Swazi King's Birthday

The media are having a field day exposing the hypocrisy of millions ,officially put at $2.5 million though widely believed to be five times higher , being spent on celebrating King Mswati III's birthday .

He will be 40 .

unemployment, 40 percent
HIV rates: nearly 40 percent among adults. Life expectancy has nearly halved since 1998 because of the AIDS epidemic and is now less than 31 years, according to the most recent U.N. figures.

70 percent live below the poverty line, and 20% depend on international food aid.

A new constitution took effect in 2006 maintains the ban on political opposition parties. The king appoints the prime minister and the cabinet. A previous king ,Sobhuza , declared a state of emergency in 1973 which Mswati has never formally lifted.

About 5,000 trade union members took to the streets Wednesday to protest against the expenditure

12 comments:

Richard Rooney said...

We shouldn’t let these lavish celebrations hide the very real human rights abuses that are taking place in Swaziland. The King rules by decree, political parties are banned and the parliament has no powers. The King selects the Prime Minister. This week police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at marchers protesting for democracy. While the King has a wealth estimated at 200 million US dollars, seven in ten people in Swaziland live in abject poverty earning less than one US dollar a day. Six in ten people rely on international food aid and four in ten are said to be moving from hunger to starvation. Swaziland also has the highest rate of HIV infection in the world. For more information on human rights issues in Swaziland visit my blog at www.swazimedia.blogspot.com

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