The Queen Mother in Swaziland told her subjects they must bow down before her and the King to earn forgiveness from God to be able to enter heaven. She said they must always obey those in authority over them.
King Mswati III rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
The Queen Mother, known as the Indlovukazi, was addressing hundreds of Christian women at the Ludzidzini Royal Residence Arena on Saturday (31 March 2018).
The Sunday Observer, a newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati, reported she said, ‘If you are a child of God, one day when you have left this world, Jesus will say I am forgiving you, because I have seen you travelling the journey to the extent of bowing to Their Majesties, enter in my Father’s Kingdom.’
The newspaper reported, ‘She added that it would be difficult for Christians to please God if they failed to respect and bow before those in authority in their communities, saying the genesis of faith was respecting leaders.’
The Queen Mother also said, ‘Whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority?’
Political parties are banned from taking part in elections in Swaziland and the King appoints the Prime Minister, government minister and top judges. A national election is due to take place in 2018. People advocating for multiparty democracy in the kingdom are jailed under the Suppression of Terrorism Act.
About seven in ten of the King’s 1.1 million subjects live in abject poverty with incomes less than the equivalent of USS$2 per day. The King lives an opulent lifestyle with at least 13 palaces and fleets of top-of-the-range BMW and Mercedes cars. In April he is set to take delivery of a second private jet airplane in time for his 50th birthday.
International agencies including Amnesty International, Freedom House and the United States State Department have reported on a raft of human rights violations in Swaziland.
In its annual report on human rights covering 2016, the US State Department stated, ‘The principal human rights concerns are that citizens do not have the ability to choose their government in free and fair periodic elections held by secret ballot; police use of excessive force, including torture, beatings, and unlawful killings; restrictions on freedoms of speech, assembly, and association; and discrimination against and abuse of women and children.
‘Other human rights problems included arbitrary killings; arbitrary arrests and lengthy pretrial detention; arbitrary interference with privacy and home; prohibitions on political activity and harassment of political activists; trafficking in persons; societal discrimination against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex community and persons with albinism; mob violence; harassment of labor leaders; child labor; and restrictions on worker rights.’
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