Many people in Swaziland will not get a paid holiday to celebrate King Mswati III’s 50th birthday.
The birthday is on Thursday 19 April 2018 is always a public holiday and the following day has been declared an extra holiday by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
But for workers in the manufacturing and processing, textile and apparel and agriculture and plantation sectors among others it will be an ordinary working day.
The Ministry made 20 April a public holiday by moving National Flag Day from 25 April. However, under wage regulations in Swaziland National Flag Day is not universally recognised as a paid holiday.
King Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, has decreed that 19 April be known as the 50/50 Celebration to mark his own birthday and the 50th anniversary of Independence from Great Britain which falls in September.
The King has spent the equivalent of US$7.5 million on a fleet of top-of-the-range BMW cars for the day. He is also to take delivery of his second private jet plane ahead of his birthday. Meanwhile, seven in ten of his estimated 1.1 million subjects live in abject poverty with incomes less than the equivalent of US$2 per day.
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