Let Them Eat Cake


Mswati: Self-indulgence is his absolute rule

King Mswati III of Swaziland has always had extravagant tastes. But as the tiny southern African kingdom sinks deeper into poverty and an AIDS crisis, the latest royal purchases — 10 new BMW X5 4.4i sport-utility vehicles, worth around $800,000, one for each of his 10 official wives — must qualify as a personal best. Africa's last absolute ruler presides over a land where 70% live in destitution and 38.8% are infected with HIV, the world's worst rate. And ordinary Swazis are increasingly fed up with Mswati's gold-plated insensitivity, profligate spending and authoritarian ways, says Jan Sithole, secretary-general of the Swaziland...

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