King Mswati III may not be known for frugality or for conventional marital practices but reports following his recent trip to India for the India-Africa Forum Summit escalate him to dizzying heights of contempt for the Swazi taxpayer.
Online plaftorm DNAIndia reported that during the 47 year-old king arrived for the four-day summit last week accompanied by his 15 wives, 30 children and 100 servants. The platform went on to write that the king had over 200 rooms booked at a five-star hotel without disclosing the costs involved but one can deduce that the rooms come at a pretty penny.
Similar reports cropped up in the NewsWorldIndia, CitiFMOnline and other publications. However, all these reports have only one thing in common: they lack evidence. Despite our best searches on the internet, not a picture or any kind of credible evidence can be found to prove this piece of ‘news’.
So it’s completely understandable that the government, according to the Swazi Observer, condemned the reports as lies and attempts “to try and taint the King’s name”. According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze, “There is absolutely nothing like that,” Gamedze said. “The King is accompanied by one Inkhosikati – LaFogiyane – as it has always been the norm.
If it were to be proven true, many would not be surprised. King Mswati III is estimated to be worth US$100 million despite the fact that his territory of 1.25 million people produces a gross domestic product of almost US$4 billion. Still, we wonder what some of these publications have to gain by this kind of libel.