Swazi king gets birthday jet amid financial crisis
Swazi King Mswati III has received a jet for his 44th birthday, despite the tiny country's crippling financial crisis, the prime minister said on state radio Wednesday.
Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini said the king now owns a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 twin-engine jet, but insisted the plane was a gift to be used by Mswati and his 13 wives.
"His majesty's government has the honour to announce to the nation that the king has received a gift of a DC-9 aircraft from development partners and friends of the king, to be used by their majesties for travels abroad," Dlamini said.
Mswati celebrated his birthday on April 19 with a three million rand ($386,000, 293,000 euros), partly paid by the state.
He is rated by Forbes magazine as the world's 15th richest monarch with a personal fortune of $100 million, but he reins over one of the world's poorest nations.
The Swaziland Diaspora Platform, a human rights
...not to be confused with
individual rights, mind you...
group based in South Africa, has rejected the government's explanation for the jet.
No development partner would want to be anonymous, by their nature development agencies are transparent.
Posted by: Fred