Saturday, August 22, 2009


If King Mswati III of Swaziland and his illegally-appointed prime minister Barnabas Dlamini thought they could hide from the world the E50 million (6 million US dollars) shopping trip made by the king’s wives they must think again.

As I reported on Wednesday (19 August 2009) the media in Swaziland were warned not to report on the trip because it would harm the king’s reputation. Media houses were told they would face sanctions, including possible closure, if word got out.

But after my report appeared the cat is now out of the bag and the news has gone global and King Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, is once again branded for the lavish lifestyle he and his family lead while seven in ten of his subjects barely exist in absolute poverty.

Newspapers, radio and websites across the world have followed up on the story. Lucky Lukhele, spokesperson for the Swaziland Solidarity Network, says he has personally been contacted by 15 international media houses and he believes at least five are on their way to Swaziland to follow up the report themselves.

The Saturday Star from Johannesburg, South Africa, today (22 August 2009) covers the story and highlights the belief that South African taxpayers are footing the bill for the king’s extravagances.

The Star is freely available to buy in Swaziland, so this undermines the Swazi ruling elite’s attempt to keep information about the king’s wives’ shopping trip away from ordinary Swazis. Short of rounding up every copy of the newspaper from the vendors in Swaziland there is little that can be done to suppress the news.

The official voice of Swaziland is mute in the face of growing criticism across the world. In all the reports I have read no one from the Swazi Government or the office of King Mswati has been ‘available’ for comment.

If you want to see the reports yourself here are some of them.

Saturday Star

Times, London , UK

The Australian

Herald, Ireland

SW Africa Radio

All Headline News


Capto Varitas News From Everywhere

Socialist Banner

Royalty in the News

Way Odd


Monsters and Critics

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