King of Swaziland spends $16.6 million on luxury cars for his wives as rest of the country live in abject poverty

King Mswati III of Swaziland (Club of Mozambique)
  • According to the World Food Programme, about 63 per cent of the people in Eswatini (Swaziland) live below the poverty line.
  • This has not stopped King Mswati III from recently buying 19 Rolls-Royces and 120 BMWs for his wives.
  • His citizens responded with a public protest last week.

King Mswati III is one of the wealthiest kings in Africa.

Forbes estimates that he has an estimated net worth of at least $200 million which he spends on a plane, airport and luxury cars, including a $500,000 Maybach.

His latest purchase is a fleet of luxury cars — 19 Rolls-Royces and 120 BMWs — for his 15 wives, TimesLive reports. The vehicles, worth $16.6 million (N6 billion), were delivered earlier this month.

A wealthy king in an impoverished country

The king’s latest purchase has sparked outrage in his country. Reportedly, about 700 public servants gathered at the capital Mbabane on Thursday, November 8, 2019, to accuse him of draining public funds.

Condemning the King, Pudemo general secretary Wandile Dludlu issued a statement saying, “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, textbook fees, accommodation and other expenses."

“Last week, a total of 19 Rolls-Royce cars were delivered to Swaziland for the exclusive use of the king, his mother and his wives. To say this is a blatant display of arrogance and total disregard of the poor people of Swaziland’s feelings by the monarch would be an understatement. He is basically showing them a middle finger and proving to all and sundry that he is a law unto himself.”

He ended up by calling his citizens to revolt against the King's leadership.

"We strongly condemn in the strongest possible terms this brazen looting of the oppressed people of Swaziland’s hard-earned taxes. Stand up and face up to this evil regime that continues to keep us in bondage. Under no circumstances can we allow one family to continuously condemn us to poverty. It is about time that we fight back and reclaim what rightfully belongs to us," Dludlu added.

This is not the first time King Mswati III has been criticized of living extravagantly while the rest of the country suffers.

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