Just as the Swaziland Government announced it would spend E200 million (US$13.2 million) of public funds on a private jet aircraft for King Mswati III, the United Nations has released US$3.14 million funding to support 95,000 Swazis hardest hit by the current drought.
In February 2016 when it declared a national emergency the Swazi Government said it did not have sufficient money to purchase food and other provisions for the estimated 300,000 people in danger of severe malnutrition. It appealed to the international community for help.
The Government estimated it would need US$16 million in aid before the end of April 2016.
The United Nations said the funding would enable the World Food Programme and UNICEF to provide food and emergency water and sanitation to the 95,000 most vulnerable people.
The European Union in collaboration with the Finnish Red Cross has already said it would donate the equivalent of US$650,000 to assist more than 21,000 people from 4,200 households with food supplies.
King Mswati III, who rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolution has an international reputation for his lavish lifestyle. He already owns a jet aircraft, but he considers it too small, so he will now get to an A340-300 Airbus built in 2001. It will be purchased from China Airlines in Taiwan.
The King who rules over a population of 1.3 million subjects also has 13 palaces and fleets of BMW and Mercedes cars.
Meanwhile, seven in ten of his subjects live in abject poverty with incomes of less than USS$2 per day.
SWAZI MPs ABOUT-TURN ON KING’S JET
MONEY FOR KING’S JET, BUT NOT DROUGHT
$12m SPEND ON ROYAL DECOR AT AIRPORT