Thursday, November 4, 2010


Has someone had a rush of blood to the head at the Swaziland Tourism Authority?

Suddenly truth has broken out at the body tasked with encouraging people to visit the kingdom.

The STA website is telling it like it is in the land, ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.

Go to the ‘About Swaziland’ page and you will learn, ‘During Mswati III’s rule, the Swazi regime has become increasingly intolerant of, and violent towards, the ever-expanding democratic movement. The leadership and members of the main political party (all political parties are banned and illegal) advocating democracy and a respect for human rights, the People’s Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), have been singled out for harassment and mistreatment, but anyone voicing an opinion that is in opposition to the present, undemocratic regime is targeted by police.’

Visitors will also learn

  • 69% of the Swaziland’s population survive on less than US 1$ dollar a day
  • Over 40% of the population require food aid
  • Swaziland in one of the financially most unequal countries in the world, even more so than Zimbabwe
  • Swaziland’s military expenditure is the 19th highest per capita in the world
  • Political prisoners and detainees are more or less routinely tortured by police and security forces, and unfair trials and long delays in the justice system are commonplace
  • Freedom of expression in Swaziland is seriously compromised, not least by the 2008 Suppression of Terrorism Act, and by the government labelling of all political oppositional forces as “terrorists”

And there is much more besides. I particularly liked the page on gifts for King Mswati.

It’s good to see the truth being told by an organisation sponsored by the Swazi Government.

Reality check: someone (not me, honest guv’nor) has hacked into the website. If it’s so easy to do, let’s go to the government website next.

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