Friday, October 16, 2009


Today I want to introduce a new game that anyone can play. It’s called Fantasy Watch.

It’s very simple. Every time King Mswati III or one of his hangers-on makes a claim that big business is coming to Swaziland we make a note.

Then (unlike the Swazi media and just about everyone in power in Swaziland) we don’t forget all about it until the next claim is made - we keep watching.

Here’s the first round. I’m calling it The King’s Folly - Sikhuphe International Airport.

I’ve written before about how the airport, presently being built in the middle of nowhere in Swaziland is a waste of time and money. Today (16 October 2009), the Swazi Observer, the king’s own newspaper, reports that what it calls ‘one of the world’s leading airlines’, Etihad Airways wants to use the airport when it is built.

In gushing prose the newspaper tells us that King Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, met with ‘key people’ in the Gulf State of Abu Dhabi and they showed ‘deep interest’ in using Sikhuphe.

The Observer reports, ‘Sikhuphe's strong point is that it is at the heart of the Southern African region and within easy, hassle free reach to the region's national parks, habours and major infrastructure.’

The Observer quoted Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Lutfo Dlamini, saying, ‘His Majesty once again proved to be the number one ambassador for the country as he was eloquent in his presentation about the airport and its viability.’

I for one am fed up with the Swazi media barking on about what a wonderful job King Mswati does in bringing business to Swaziland. They cheer him on but then nothing happens, and they just forget about it until it’s time to cheer on the next announcement.

So back to the game. Let’s all watch Etihad Airways and see if anything at all happens.

While in Fantasy Watch mood, we have been constantly told that Sikhuphe will be open for business in time for the FIFA World Cup in June 2010. That’s a little over eight months from now.

Let’s see . . . the clock is ticking and we are watching.

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