Profits made by two royal entities Tibiyo TakaNgwane and Tisuka TakaNgwane are controlled by the monarchy and in theory at least are meant to be used to support the nation.
However, in reality, King Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, uses the money for his own personal use. He is known to lead an extravagant lifestyle and has at least 13 palaces in the tiny kingdom where 70 percent of the 1.1 million people live on less than US$1 per day.
The Swaziland Government has confirmed that money from the royal entities will not be used to support the economy.
In a letter to labour unions, Majozi Sithole, Swazi Finance Minister, confirmed the money belonged to Royalty and not to the people. In his letter he said, ‘these entities were formed in terms of a Royal Charter which does not provide for their income to be part of government income’.
Tibiyo and Tisuka are investment funds with extensive shares in a number of businesses, industries, property developments and tourism facilities in Swaziland. They do not pay tax in the way that ordinary businesses in the kingdom do.
Sithole was responding to a petition delivered by trade unions calling for change.
CALLS TO PROBE SWAZI KING’S WEALTH