The lavish lifestyles of members of the Swaziland (eSwatini) Royal Family are once again under the spotlight after video was posted online showing King Mswati III's son Prince Majaha being showered with cash at his 30th birthday party.
King Mswati rules Swaziland as an absolute monarch. In November 2019 he purchased between 13 and 15 luxury Rolls-Royce cars at an estimated cost of up to US$4 million. He also has two private airplanes, at least 13 palaces and fleets of top-of-the-range cars. At his 50th birthday in 2018 he wore a watch worth US$1.6 million and a suit beaded with diamonds that weighed 6 kg. Days earlier he had taken delivery of his second private jet. This one, an Airbus A340, cost US$13.2 to purchase but with VIP upgrades was estimated to have cost US$30 million.
A Facebook page called Swazi Royal Leeches Lifestyle has monitored the lavish spending of the King and numerous of his children. Among other photographs it shows King Mswati's daughters Siba, Tiyandza and Sikhanyiso with a friend on vacation in Cancun, Mexico. Tiyandza, daughter to King Mswati and Queen LaNgangaza, is wearing a 47 mm 18K Pink Gold Ballon Bleu De Cartier watch worth US$58,500 (E760,500).
Meanwhile, seven in ten of the Swazi population of 1.1 million people live in abject poverty.
The new video shows Prince Majaha smiling and laughing while another prince splashes cash in his direction.
The Economic Freedom Fighters of Swaziland President Ncamiso Ngcamphalala told the Swati Newsweek, a news website, 'It is embarrassing to see members of the royal family showing off luxurious lifestyle at the expense of more than 60 percent of hungry people of Swaziland. They are showing high levels of arrogance.'
In July 2020, Lisa Peterson, the United States Ambassador to Swaziland called for the kingdom's constitution to be changed to stop King Mswati's lavish spending.
She said the US had given more than half a billion dollars in assistance to eSwatini over the past 15 years. 'It does reach a point where you ask yourself why are we putting this money in. Why are my taxpayer's dollars going to this, my children's tax dollars, heaven forbid, my grandchildren's tax dollars go to pay for healthcare in this country when someone [the King] clearly has a lot of money and doesn't quite seem to know what to do with it all.'
The Ambassador said people needed to send a message to the King, 'We expect you to behave the way the rest of us have to behave.'
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