Swazi govt 'denies buying luxury cars worth $7.5m for king Mswati's birthday bash'

King Mswati III
King Mswati III

Swaziland's government has reportedly denied claims that it bought a fleet of BMW 740i vehicles worth $7.5 million ahead of King Mswati III's birthday next week.

A report by SABC said that Swaziland was set to mark the king's birthday and the 50th anniversary of the country's independence from Great Britain on April 19 in the so-called 50/50 Celebration.

The report said that the Ministry of Public Works and Transport Principal Secretary Makhosini Mndawe denied reports that the government had bought a fleet of BMW 740i vehicles ahead of the event.

Mndawe's denial, however, contradicted a report from his department, the report said. 

SABC quoted The Observer newspaper that was owned by the king, as saying that the vehicles were set to transport dignitaries at the party.

A blogger, Richard Rooney, also quoted Swaziland's independent newspaper, the Times Sunday, as saying that "the cars would be used by the Close Protection Unit which is responsible for protecting dignitaries".

According to Rooney, the newspaper did not say how many cars had been purchased.

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