Saturday, 14 April 2012

King asks citizens to pay for birthday bash

Swaziland's King Mswati III has a problem. The country's finances won't stretch to pay for his usual lavish birthday celebrations. But he's found a solution: he's asking the Swazi people to pay for it. Businesses and chiefs have been asked to donate "meaningfully". According to the M&G,

Mswati appeared to endorse calls for donations when he said: "People tend to cry when they have to make sacrifices, but I would like to urge you to make sacrifices like Jesus Christ, who left heaven and came to Earth to die for our sins."
Opposition and pro-democracy groups are outraged and have suggested that the party should be cancelled. 


In the past few months, Swaziland has faced a series of protests after a financial crisis that saw government cut pensions, fail to pay civil servants, cancel scholarships, fail to pay schools, leave clinics running out of medications, etc. Last week, a 14% sales tax was introduced. Approximately half the population lives below the poverty line and 25% of adults are living with HIV/AIDS.

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