Swaziland’s Finance Minister Majozi Sithole lied to the BBC when he said he didn’t know how much of the Swazi national budget went to King Mswati III.
The amount was included in the budget Sithole delivered in February 2011.
What Sithole didn’t want the BBC – and the world – to know is that King Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, got a 23 percent increase in his budget this year, when just about all government departments were forced to take a 20 percent cut to help Swaziland out of the economic mess successive governments, handpicked by King Mswati, have created.
Although the information has been published all over the world, the Swazi state-controlled broadcast media and the largely self-censoring ‘independent’ newspapers have never given this news to the Swazi people.
This year the king and his family will get E210 million (US$30 million). That’s E40 million MORE than he got in 2010/2011, when he got E170 million. And it’s E80 million MORE than the E129.5 million he got in 2009/2010.
To read more about how much the Swazi taxpayers have to pay for the upkeep of King Mswati and his Royal family click here.
Sithole also lied to the BBC when he said that he didn’t know whether King Mswati and an ‘entourage’ stayed at a first-class hotel when he went to London in April for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The King’s extravagance was reported all over the world (but again, not in Swaziland). He even had to move from one top-flight hotel to escape demonstrators who picketed outside.
Sithole was being interviewed by the BBC World Service about Swaziland’s attempts to get a loan from South Africa to bail it out of its present economic crisis. So far, Swaziland has failed to get support from the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank for its economic policies.
Sithole got away with his lies to the BBC – the interviewer didn’t have the information to contradict him – and I wonder how many lies he has been telling the South African government about the strength of the Swazi economy.
To hear the BBC interview, which is taken from the weekly Africa Today podcast of 14 July 2011, click below.
RAGE AT SWAZI KING’S LAVISH LIVING
SWAZILAND BUDGET DOCUMENT ONLINE