People in Swaziland have been asked not to urinate in public during King Mswati III’s birthday celebrations.
It is one of the things Manzini Municipal Council wants as it tries to mask the poor state of Swaziland’s main commercial city.
It is to host the so-called 50-50 celebrations marking the King’s 50th birthday and the 50th anniversary of Swaziland’s Independence from Great Britain on 19 April 2018.
A number of foreign dignitaries and tourists are expected to visit Manzini. In the run-up the Manzini Municipal Council has told its residents in a flyer, ‘The roads, both surfaced and gravel, will be in the most perfect condition, there will be no overgrown vegetation along the streets, all traffic lights will be in good working order, the city will be exquisitely decorated and all high mast and street lights will be functioning perfectly.’
It goes on to tell residents, ‘There is a number of things you can do. Let’s get into the 50/50 mood and positively change our behaviour.’
It says the city expects, ‘hordes of tourists from within and outside the borders’ and adds, ‘It would be a huge blow to have them experience an unhygienic shopping experience. Therefore, let’s make it a point that our business premises and our employees meet the acceptable health and hygiene standards. Even the quality of the food that we sell; let us ensure it’s of the highest quality. This also applies to informal traders who are selling fruit, vegetables and other items on the streets and bus rank.’
It goes on, ‘Make use of the litter bins available on the streets and, by all means, avoid littering. Council also pleads with the business sector to stop the illegal practice of emptying their garbage bins into street litter bins.’
It tells residents, ‘No matter how pressed you are, please do not urinate in public. By urinating in public you do not only risk arrest but bring indignity to our beloved city.’
The 50-50 celebration centres on King Mswati who rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. Although seven in ten of his estimated 1.1 million subjects have incomes less than the equivalent of US$2 per day, E89 million (US$7.5 million) has already been spent on a fleet of BMW cars for dignities to ride in.
It is not reported who will foot the bill for the road and other improvements the Council promises. The celebrations take place at a time of severe budget restraints. King Mswati has told his subjects money can only be released for essential spending.
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