Tuesday, July 12, 2011


BBC African Service

12 July 2011

Swaziland: A kingdom in crisis

Swaziland's King Mswati III ascended to the throne 25 years ago but he has little to celebrate during his silver jubilee.

An absolute monarch who rules over 1.2 million people, his government is in financial ruin, running out of cash for salaries, health care and fuel.

"My wife works at the university. Last month they got paid late. And they don't know what will happen when it's pay day again," Sikelela Dlamini, the co-ordinator of the opposition Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF), told the BBC.

"In the health sector, it's worse. Some people got only half their salaries. There is no money - only panic," he says.

The crisis has been caused by profligate spending - on the royal family of 13 wives, as well as unbudgeted wage increases - and a sharp decline in income because of the global economic crisis and new trade rules in the region, analysts say.

To read the full report click here.

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