Monday, June 13, 2005

It's Good to be the King

This is one of those situations where you don't know if you should laugh or you should cry - from the polygamy to the 'new' constitution.

Swazi king waits two weeks for wife No. 12

MBABANE, Swaziland (Reuters) -- Swaziland's King Mswati III took an 18-year-old former Miss Teen Swaziland finalist as his 12th wife during the weekend, barely two weeks after marrying his 11th, media in the tiny African kingdom said.

Nothando Dube was selected as Mswati's fiancee after last year's Reed Dance, an event where thousands of maidens dance bare breasted in honor of the Queen Mother and where Mswati has chosen wives in the past.

The Times of Swaziland's Sunday edition quoted Mswati's traditional prime minister, Jim Gama, as saying that Dube's nuptials had been concluded Saturday night.

Palace officials were unavailable for confirmation on Monday, when Mswati was due to leave on an overseas trip.

In late May, Mswati married his 11th wife, 20-year-old Nolichwa Ntenesa, who was also selected during a Reed Dance.

Mswati, 37, has drawn criticism for spending money on luxury cars while many of his 1.1 million subjects struggle by on food aid, ravaged by the world's highest rate of HIV/AIDS which affects around two in every five adults.

Mswati early in June said he was not sub-Saharan Africa's only absolute monarch, contending that although political parties were banned in Swaziland, he only made decisions after consulting with the people.

In 1973 Mswati's father, Sobhuza, whose authorized biography says he had 45 official wives, tore up the constitution of the former British protectorate, sandwiched between South Africa and Mozambique.

Mswati's officials are drafting a new constitution, which is set to uphold the ban on political parties.


Anonymous said...

I believe that the main reason why king Mswati is refusing to hand over power to his people is due to that he is an imposter. The throne does not belong to him and his Dlamini clan. They stole it from the emangcamanes.Every Swazi worth his salt knows that. Mswati and his lot arrived in Swaziland and were granted refugee status by the then ruling king of the emangcamane. They tried to gain control of the state by offering one of their women to the king hoping that she would bear a son who would be the heir to the throne.The king of Swazis turned that offer down. They then colluded with the white settlers(boers) and murdered the king and took over the throne. However the heir to the throne escaped and his great grand son who ought to be ruling Swaziland is in South Africa. The emangcamane have launched a vigorous campaign to reclaaim their throne. To prevent losing his throne to the emangcamane Mswati has to keep a tight control over the people. He should ensure that power continues to vest on him because if it could vest on the people he could lose the throne. He is therefore determined to do everything to disallow political reforms. He uses evil spirits to maintain a hold on the people and the consequences are that Swazis are generally afraid of him.Actually he bewitches them and he uses the cultural ceremonies like umhlanga to further his evil practices.

Dingo said...

You are obviously someone with first hand knowledge of the situation there. I was unaware of the history behind it. Thanks for your comments.