Swaziland Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini Dies After Testing Positive for Coronavirus

Ambrose Dlamini, Prime Minister of Swaziland (eSwatini), has died after testing positive for coronavirus.

The death was confirmed by the Swazi Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku, in a statement on Sunday (13 December 2020). He did not reveal the cause of death. He said the Prime Minister had died 'under medical care' in a hospital in South Africa.

Dlamini, 52, announced he had tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) on 16 November. At the time, he said he was asymptomatic and was feeling well. The Swazi Government had consistently played down the seriousness of Dlamini's health but he was airlifted to South Africa for treatment.

Dlamini was appointed Prime Minister of Swaziland in 2018 by absolute monarch King Mswati III. Dlamini had never stood for public office. Even though the King rules by decree Dlamini's appointment violated the kingdom's Constitution because he was not a member of the Swazi Senate.

Dlamini had no political experience but he had close business ties with the King. Before his appointment Dlamini was best known as the chief executive officer (CEO) of MTN Swaziland, the mobile phone service provider. The King receives millions of dollars a year in dividends from MTN. He was given 10 percent of MTN Swaziland when he granted it the licence to operate as the only mobile phone service provider in his kingdom.

Swaziland Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini who has died after testing positive for coronavirus

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