Celebrating povery? The moral story of Swaziland

There was 40-40 celebration in Swaziland this week. My President attended the celebration in Mbabane together with Mugabe, Museveni and even Namibia's Pohamba. I think an American Assistant Secretary for African Affairs was there too. The good side of the commemoration was over shadowed by a demonstration by an estimated 2,000 people in Mbabane.
Now I do love Swaziland, it will be my honeymoon destination and also probably my home when I start big investments of my life time. I have to Swaziland for more than four times and I have good freinds, fortunately I only have to say Dhlamini for the surname, one Ntokozo Nzabulewako and a few other with different surnames. But the first names are either Sizwe, Melusi and Clement.
The other time while driving from WHY NOT? a must for anyone who loves dating the world at night, we engaged into a serious discussion with a colleague who is a lawyer for Truworths or something else in Mbabane.
They gave me some traditional brew-Malula if I remember and I drank one too many, that I started accusing my Swazi's hosts of defending culture at the expense of human freedoms.
They took me around Mbabane, Matsapha and Manzini to see how free everyone was. The following day were were back at Mastapha where the King was presiding over Police pass out parade.
That is where I saw inequalities that made me ponder why a beautiful country like Swaziland with a few people cannot get it right.
There are about a million or two Swazi's and the majority live in poverty. Most urban dwellers have to return to their rural homes every weekend meaning there is almost a 100-percent equal access to resources gained by those in urban and spending it in rural homes.
However at the grounds, the King's family arrived in all sorts of posh subsidised by the Swazi people, majority of whom cannot find fertile places to cultivate and survive, while others sugar and timber plantations moved them from their original homes.
Manzini is different from what I saw in Ezuluwin, the Kings compound where an appointment of 2pm was only honoured well into the midnight.
Further to this reports of spending up to 11 million USD on a party doesnt seem to have any moral backing. How do you convince the hungry and the sick that you care as their leader when you are busy celebrating day and night.
There is some sense to celebrate 40 years of independence, the same for the Kings birthday, but there is no moral justification to spend 11 million dollars when the healthcare system is in shumbles, hunger is a daily companion of many and poverty seems to be poking fun at every level of households.
I wish one of our leaders told the King that its time he stopped marrying as many as he wants, it doesnt help with the current Aids epidemic and the image of a nation trying to grapple with modernity and traditional.
There is a sentence that "only the King can change tradition"-I believe His Majesty the King of Swaziland has a capacity to promote the beautiful Swazi culture with real freedoms and public expenditures that show that the King cares. The King is supposed to look after his people first not his many wives.!!


We shouldn’t let these lavish celebrations hide the very real human rights abuses that are taking place in Swaziland. The King rules by decree, political parties are banned and the parliament has no powers. The King selects the Prime Minister. This week police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at marchers protesting for democracy. While the King has a wealth estimated at 200 million US dollars, seven in ten people in Swaziland live in abject poverty earning less than one US dollar a day. Six in ten people rely on international food aid and four in ten are said to be moving from hunger to starvation. Swaziland also has the highest rate of HIV infection in the world. For more information on human rights issues in Swaziland visit my blog at www.swazimedia.blogspot.com

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