”The results of Mswati’s absolute rule for the Swazi people have been catastrophic,” independent watchdog organisation Freedom House writes in the excecutive summary of their new report on Swaziland, Africa’s last refuge of feudalism.
“This desperate economic and social situation is the product of 40 years of incompetent government during which two despots have used Swaziland for their personal purposes while ignoring the needs of the Swazi people and their legitimate rights to have a say over how they are governed and how the country’s resources are used.”
Freedom House, who have consistently rated Swaziland as being ”not free” in their Freedom in the World reports, also problematise the “fifty-fold increase in the annual allocation for durable equipment and materials – probably arms and military machines,” equipment that is almost certainly meant to be used against the democratic movement in Swaziland.
“We are spending a lot on the army but we are not anticipating what is happening in North Africa. The army is there to avoid such situations,” as Swazi Finance Minister Majozi Sithole put it to French news agency AFP in 2011
The King has totally ignored the demands of Swaziland’s democratic movement, says Freedom House, “or cracked down on civic leaders whom he has variously intimidated, arrested, tortured, exiled or murdered.”
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