Swazi anger at royal wives' trip BBC News Online Nine of King Mswati's wives left last week to go shopping Hundreds of Swazi women have marched through the streets of the capital to protest about a shopping trip taken by nine of the king's 13 wives. They chartered a plane last week to go to Europe and the Middle East. The BBC's Thulani Mthethwa says the protesters handed in a petition to the finance ministry saying the money could have been better spent. "We can't afford a shopping trip when a quarter of the nation lives on food aid," they chanted. Swaziland, Africa's last absolute monarchy, is one of the poorest countries in the world and more than 40% of the population is believed to be infected with HIV. We could need to keep that money for ARVs Protest slogan The march was organised by Positive Living, a non-governmental organisation for women with Aids. Our correspondent says there was a cross-section of women on the march from professionals to rural representatives. "We need to keep that money for ARVs [anti-retrovirals]," was another slogan shouted by the women. King Mswati III, 40, has been criticised in the past for requesting public money to pay for new palaces, a personal jet and luxury cars. News of his wives' trip broke in the local press a day after they left, our reporter says. Earlier this week, senior princes warned the women not to march, saying it defied Swazi tradition.