Wednesday, 25 April 2012

PRESS RELEASE: April 25, 2012


Like Kings of old Europe, that have been long overthrown by popular revolt, King Mswati III of Swaziland, thrives on the trend where he lives a life of opulence and obscene privilege, whilst us, his subjects have to struggle and compete for the few resources he has allowed to us.

After our hard toiling in difficult conditions, we pay taxes, which he takes and spends on himself and the multiple people and institutions that comprise the Monarch of Swaziland, instead of spending resources to develop the country and its people as is done in the modern State.

King Mswati III has reportedly come into possession of a McDonnell Douglas DC 9 Twin Engine jet valued at over R500 million or $48 million, and the official government story is that it was donated by anonymous "development partners and friends of the King." The names of these donors have not been revealed.

The Swaziland Diaspora Platform (SDP) believes that government purchased the aircraft using tax payer's money.

The community of international development agencies operate in transparency and accountability, understanding that all that they provide to a receiving country or agency has to first of all, advance a developmental agenda of the citizens of that country not personal wealth, and secondly, the donor agencies have to report to those that provide the funds, and those receiving the funds, it is public information.

R500 million could have provided funding for sustainable community projects geared towards food security; public works projects geared at improving educational and health care infrastructure or addressed any of the Millennium Development Goals which Swaziland is failing to meet.

News of the costly jet also comes after R3 million was spent on the King’s birthday party just last week, held in the poorest region of Swaziland, Shiselweni, a further slap in the face to people struggling to meet daily basic needs and a further indication of a Monarch who views the country as his own family farm, in which we the citizens are commoners at his mercy.

It is beyond reproach that government would choose to spend so much money on a frivolous purchase and event that have no benefit to our country currently grappling with dire economic and social crises.

Government is choosing to leave our well-being as Swazi people in the hands of generous aid agencies, which have effectively taken over government mandate by responding to social problems such as food shortages caused by mismanagement of the economy by King Mswati III’s undemocratic government.

The Swaziland Diaspora Platform would like to reiterate its call for a democratic, transparent, responsive government in Swaziland, accountable only to us, the people.

Statement issued by SDP
Media Inquiries:
Ntombenhle Khathwane (spokesperson): +27 72 327 6497

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  2. Grand theft of a poor nations resources. We should lobby for that Jet to be grounded wherever it lands. It must be auctioned and the money given back to the Swazis who toil day in, day out in a tough Economic, Political and Social environment created by a greedy and selfish monarch. Should be called an Anarchy. - S Mabuza