Saturday, October 10, 2009


Swaziland’s King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch may have his work cut out keeping up with the new High Commissioner from the United Kingdom.

Dr Nicola Brewer formally presented her credentials to the king this week.

Dr Brewer – her doctorate is real unlike the bogus doctorate that Swaziland’s illegally-appointed Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini claims – has a long history working for human rights and gender equality.

She was the first Chief Executive of the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, a job she quit to take up her appointment as UK High Commissioner to South Africa, which also has responsibility for Swaziland and Lesotho.

She is a career diplomat who has held senior public sector appointments both inside and outside the Diplomatic Service, including Director General for Regional Programmes at the UK Department for International Development (DFID), where she supervised all UK overseas bilateral aid programmes in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. She was also an executive member of DFID’s Management Board, chair of the Human Resources Committee and the Departmental diversity champion.

While she was doing this, King Mswati was taking Swaziland to the brink of starvation, decimating the economy until it is on the brink of ruin. Seven in ten of his subjects live in absolute poverty, six in ten need food aid from overseas to stay alive and the king’s crushing of human rights and civil liberties has been condemned across the globe.

According to the Swazi Observer, the newspaper in effect owned by the king himself, King Mswati accepted Dr Brewer’s letter of credence and thanked the United Kingdom for the assistance it had given to Swaziland in the past.

He failed to mention the disgraceful way the previous UK Deputy High Commissioner Mark Norton was treated when he tried to visit political activist Mario Masuku who was in remand in jail on a trumped up terrorism charge. Lufto Dlamini, Swaziland’s Foreign Minister accused Norton of being in league with terrorists.

Nor did he mention how the previous UK High Commissioner Paul Boateng criticised the lack of democracy in Swaziland’s national elections last year (2008).

King Mswati asked that more investors from the UK come to Swaziland, although he didn’t reveal whether he wanted them to contribute to the many bogus developments that have been talked up in the kingdom recently.

Dr Brewer was diplomatic – it is her job after all – and said there might be a few educational scholarships on offer soon, but she made no promises.

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