King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Swaziland. Photo: AP
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Unbridled profligacy: 120 BMWs and 19 Rolls Royce for the King of eSwatini Kingdom

For the past three years the public servants of eSwatini Kingdom have received no pay rise, but their leader, King Mswati III just purchased 120 BMWs and 19 Rolls Royce. The purchase of the vehicles has been widely criticised, seen as wasteful spending amid high poverty levels, low wages for public workers and rising cost of living.

The Kingdom of eSwatini might have changed its name from Swaziland, but the small county still faces the same major  issues it’s always struggled with, a splurging monarch. King Mswati III recently ordered 120 BMWs and 19 Rolls Royce for him and his family despite the existing high levels of poverty and inequality.

According to Times Live, the purchase of the vehicles which are estimated to be at a tune of $16 million come after 700 civil servants took to the streets clamouring for a pay increase, in the Kingdom’s capital, Mbabane.

While the eSwatini Minister of Public Works and Transport Ndlaluhlaza Ndwandwe issued a statement stating that the purchase of the vehicles was in accordance with the government policy of replacing government vehicles after every five years, a process he said started in 2016, Wandile Dludlu, the general secretary of the left opposition party People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) condemned the purchase of the vehicles.

Dludlu said, “In Swaziland, public sector workers have not received salary adjustments in three years and the health system has totally collapsed, rendering the poorest of the poor vulnerable. Tertiary institutions have also closed down due to student unrest caused by the regime’s failure to cater for their tuition fees, text book fees, accommodation and other expenses.”

Read: eSwatini: King Mswati III; Lifestyles of the rich and royal

The coronation of King Mswati III of Swaziland in 1986. Image: AOP

Read: Mswati allows judicial heads to roll

King Mswati III  has been accused of being arrogant and ignorant of the plight of his citizens. Dludlu described Mswati’s purchase of the cars as “a blatant display of arrogance and total disregard of the poor people of Swaziland’s feelings.”

“He is basically showing them a middle finger and proving to all and sundry that he is a law unto himself,” Dludlu commented. King Mswati has 15 wives and 23 children.

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