Jailed for stating facts

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Jailed for stating facts

Post  LeeRain on Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:07 am

And when the so-called forces of change and democracy squeal like the rats they are for more democracy, for the curbing of his authority, the lion king only has to roar and his police force dutifully arrest and deport trade unionists, journalists and troublemakers.
Swaziland's King Mswati III arrives for the annual Reed Dance at Ludzidzini in Swaziland August 30, 2010. Should King Mswati spend more time in a gym?

The king's prime minister, unlike your own, can even publicly declare that such upstarts should be beaten on the soles of their feet and jailed - for as an African, he knows it is better to be ruled by one lion instead of 1,000 rats.

Not for King Mswati III the messy recriminations of a hypocritical world, no sanctions for him, just shopping trip after uninterrupted shopping trip in any city for him and his lovely wives.

How could you not envy such a man? If there is one thing you could criticise, it would be that at only 42, King Mswati III needs to build himself a gym for the good living is beginning to show in his weight, and his own breasts are beginning to compete for the attentions of the cameras with those of his dancing maidens.

Those who question the king's lavish lifestyle complain that the man flaunts his wealth in a country whose 1.1 million people are surrounded by poverty, that he has long been judge and executioner, that his ministers disregard the relentless pain caused by Aids - HIV is reported to affect 26% of the population - and consider such figures associated with the disease to be the invention of pharmaceutical companies.

The king's ministers and advisors are princes of the Swazi royal house, they have no qualms in safeguarding the status quo and sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarchy remains absolute because the world's attention is often elsewhere.

Yet those who rule us can sometimes be kings with another name - president seems the 21st Century's favourite synonym for such men of power - and it is possible in today's Africa to find oneself in prison for calling your president an old man, even when nature and fact would agree with you.

And should King Mswati III live to be 50 on the occasion of his country's 50th anniversary eight Septembers from now, you can rest assured that his guests will include all the presidents from the last celebrations, safe in the knowledge that their own "kingdoms" will return them to power too, for democracy can be like God himself saying: "Don't go anywhere, your country needs you".

And so as September rolls on with her heavy memories, what lessons would King Mswati give to the world?

Surely men like him would know how to deal with a troublesome pastor from Florida keen on lighting up the world by torching a holy book?

If Pastor Jones was in Mbabane, how many of us would have protested if the Swazi Prime Minister, Barnabas Dlamini, had taken a pedal with spikes to the souls of Mr Jones' feet?

Any pastor would know how to walk the path of peace then, wouldn't he?

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