PRETORIA - The biggest opposition party in eSwatini, the People's United Democratic Movement (Pudemo) has sharply criticised King Mswati III for importing luxury vehicles amid unrest linked to civil servants' demands for a pay rise and the escalating cost of living in the southern African monarchy.
In a statement Pudemo's secretary general Wandile Dludlu called the king's move a "blatant display of arrogance" and total disregard of the poor people of eSwatini.
"The shameless King Mswati continues to spoil himself and his family, totally oblivious to the myriad of problems afflicting the people he claims to lead. Last week, a total of 19 Rolls Royce cars were delivered to Swaziland for the exclusive use of the King, his mother and wives and the total cost of these vehicles to the Swazi taxpayer was over E250 million," Dludlu said.
Images and videos showing three trucks ferrying numerous Rolls Royce vehicles reported to be for the king's 15-odd wives and other royal family members have gone viral on social media. According to reports, each of the vehicles costs between R4 million to R10 million.
"Notwithstanding the outrage of Swazis over the purchase of the Rolls Royces, the King Mswati led government continued rub salt into the gaping wound suffered by people by purchasing a further 120 BMWs and 30 motorbikes," said Dludlu.