Swazi king demands cows from poor subjects

2012-04-02 22:31

Mbabane - Swazi King Mswati III, Africa's last absolute monarch, has ordered his impoverished subjects to give him cows for his birthday celebrations this month, the home affairs minister said on Monday.

Chiefs from the Shiselweni region, where the celebrations will be held, will have to canvas their subjects for cattle to be slaughtered for the king, who turns 44 on April 19, Prince Gcokoma said.

"Chiefs from the Shiselweni, as hosts, are expected to provide cattle to be slaughtered on the day," Gcokoma told AFP.

"They are fully aware of the fundamental role they're expected to play as they are the ones who will be hosting the king on his memorable day."

Gcokoma said the country's precarious finances meant the government did not have enough in the budget to pay for the event, which was cancelled last year due to the crippling fiscal crisis that has left the kingdom struggling to pay wages.

But the government this year has nonetheless pledged to make a contribution toward the R5m budgeted for the celebrations.

Mswati is rated by Forbes magazine as among the world's 15 richest monarchs, with a personal fortune of more than $100m. He has 13 wives, each with their own palace.

But 60% of his subjects live on less than two dollars a day in one of the world's poorest countries, which is bordered on three sides by South Africa.

Swaziland's banned opposition party Pudemo has demanded that the kingdom cancel the birthday party.

"We call for the celebrations to be cancelled and the resources channelled to the provision of scholarships for deprived students," party spokesperson Zakhele Mabuza said.

Read more on:    king mswati iii  |  swaziland  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
23 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.