Swazi anger at royal wives' trip


BAK

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Swazi anger at royal wives' trip
BBC News Online


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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.
 
NaimaOmari

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NaimaOmari

NaimaOmari

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He is a lucky man if all the 13 are loyal to him ...but if one backslides and encounters Aids , the story will change ... the trip will not then be for shopping for luxury items but for drugs ... worst still the money will still be contributed by the public

some traditions really disgust ... the introduction of religion in our societies saved us a lot to wipe out all such hypocricy ... otherwise some of us would have been sacrificed to the gods and the godesses already..
 

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