He is the only “absolute monarch” in Africa, in the sense that he appoints the prime minister, the legislative and the judiciary. But due to traditional norms, there is a limitation to his power, he cannot choose his heir.
King Mswati III of Swaziland, is the one the most corrupt leader Africa has ever seen! He controls his government in an irrelevant and insensitive way. He has succeded in stealing all the mandate and self-esteem of his people, but only a few, of the over 1m people, are agitating for a democratic rule. Which he has rejected.
Swaziland is one the poorest countries in the world, but King Mswati III is still rated as one of the richest monarchs in history. According to a survey, 7 out of 10 people live on less than $1 per day. But still he has no concern over their plight whatsoever. His policies and lifestyle is sucking the impoverish country dry.
In this article, I will highlight, categorically, how King Mswati as well as his family is insensitively misusing his power and wealth of Swaziland.
Rise To Power
King Mswati’s rise to power is of no doubt, a very unreasonable one. And the current situation in the country can definitely be blamed on the “Great Council Of State’s” (the Liqoqo) decision to make then young Mswati a king at the age of 14, after the death of his father in the same year.
He did’nt immediately become the king in 1982, but had to wait four years, during which his mother (one of the king’s younger wives and his step-mother ruled.
1986, at age 18 and 6 days, Mswati became the king of Swaziland. And he was the youngest king and head of state, until Jigme Khesar Namg Yel Wangchuch became king in 2006 and Joseph Kabila became Head of State in 2001 in D.R. Congo.
He is the only child of his mother.
His Wealth & Lifestyle
Like his father, King Subhuza II, King Mswati III has many wives, 14 wives and 23 children. Compared to his father who had 70 wives, 210 children and over 1000 grand-children at the time of his death in 1982.
His lifestyle is degrading that in 2002, he was accused by Amnesty International for the disappearance of an 18 year old high school student. Who later became his wife. And thats not all, I only summarized it, read more of it on Wikipedia.
At a particular period, a protest was held in the country, against the high amounts being spent by his wives for shopping and traveling.
According to forbes list 2009, he is worth $200m. This is excluding his father’s trust fund, worth $10bn, which he is the trustee.
He has never used his wealth for the good of his subject, but instead he likes to take from the already extremely poor subjects.
He bought a Chrysler’s flagship, Maybach 62 luxury for $500,000. And after heavy criticism he banned photography of the cars.
In 2004, Times of Swaziland reported that he requested from govt., $15m to redecorate three main palaces and build others for his 11 wives.
The Prime Minister refuted report and said “the money was for construction 5 state houses not palaces, and it was E19.9m”.
In 2001, he invoked an ancient chastity rite, that banned women under the age of 18 from sex, to curb AIDS epidemic. But two months later he married a 17 year old girl as his wife.
In 2011, it gathered that his govt., wanted to get information on what everybody was saying on the phone, so as to stop pro-democracy groups from being formed. So they went to MTN, the only telecom provider in the country, to allow them access. The head of MTN in Swaziland, disagreed. After his work permit expired, he tried to renew it, but he was’nt allowed and so he left the country.
In 2012, his govt., tried to purchase spying equipment from SA, but could’nt pay the fee. Thus allowing the news to go public.
He is asking his subjects to provide cows for his birthday.
His govt., also plans to ban the use of social networks in the country, which only few of them have access to.
He has forced his govt., workers to cut salaries, while he would receive E210m per year.
The list goes on and on… And something must be done curb this dictator from going any further.