King Mswati III is back in the news following videos and pictures of BMWs that were allegedly delivered to eSwatini on Thursday. Twelve trucks loaded with BMW X3 SUVs and BMW 540 sedans were spotted in Carolina, Mpumalanga, from the BMW Rosslyn plant.
It was unclear what the cars were intended for, though The Sowetan reported most of the navy blue cars had already been fitted with rooftop blue lights.
Videos and pictures of the luxury cars have been circulating on social media, with most condemning the delivery.
First batch of luxury BMWs arrives today. Is there any Moses of the biblical times here or we only have populists and cowards. pic.twitter.com/RmbYAbhN2h
— General Commander (@SamuelMagagula3) November 7, 2019
— Ratombo ® ???????? (@stoneman_o) November 8, 2019
Thursday’s delivery comes in the midst of an uproar from students protesting for the release of their student allowances, and 15 Rolls Royces that were collected from the Durban harbour and delivered to the country.
Latest photos of the 19, R200 million worth Rolls Royce King Mswati III bought for his 15 wives. 53 latest SUVs are are said to be on the way. 0% CoLA for us. @EswatiniGovern1,@LabourSD,@AJENews,@_cosatu,@SwaziDailyNews pic.twitter.com/H5mww22caS
— SNAT Swaziland (@SnatSwaziland) November 4, 2019
Just spotted these on N2 northbound. On their way to Swaziland for King Mswati’s wife pic.twitter.com/nVWyd4Onql
— I’m Good (@i_Ndumiso) October 31, 2019
The biggest opposition party in the country, the People’s United Democratic Movement (Pudemo), has since released a statement criticising King Mswati III over the delivery of Rolls Royces. The king had shown his people the middle finger following the delivery of the luxury cars, said the party.
The party’s secretary-general Wandile Dludlu said: “In Swaziland, public sector workers have not received salary adjustments in three years and the health system has totally collapsed, rendering the poorest of the poor vulnerable. Tertiary institutions have also closed down due to student unrest caused by the regime’s failure to cater for their tuition fees, textbook fees, accommodation and other expenses.
“In the midst of all these self-inflicted crises, 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.
“Notwithstanding the outrage of Swazis over the purchase of the Rolls Royces, the King Mswati-led government continued to rub salt into the gaping wound suffered by people by purchasing a further 120 BMWs and 30 motorbikes which were delivered today for the exclusive use of the royal family. According to reports, some of these cars are for his motorcade and the exclusive use of his children.
“To say that this is a blatant display of arrogance and total disregard of the poor people of Swaziland’s feelings by the monarch would be an understatement. He is basically showing them a middle finger and proving to all and sundry that he is a law unto himself and not at all concerned about the people’s concerns.”
Pudemo said it was time Swazis fought back and reclaimed what was rightfully theirs.
“This has been going on and has emboldened the regime and we must fight back. Our dignity as a people has been seriously undermined by the parasitic royal family. We can no longer afford to turn a blind eye while our hard-earned taxes are used not for our benefit but for a family that does not benefit us,” it concluded.