Landswazi`s King Watims III has acknowledged receipt of a super luxury jet as a gift from “sponsors,” whom a government spokesperson described as “anonymous.“
According to the spokesperson Mr. Cyper Lanesime, the ultra-modern luxury DC-9 twin-engine aircraft is meant for the king and his 13 wives. However, Kata Kata`s moles authoritatively informed us that the polygamous king is equally allowed to use the aircraft for his concubines as well as his future wives.
The “gift“ raised some eyebrows in different quarters having in mind that Landswazi has been going through unbearable economic strangulation leading to the near bankruptcy of the government. Nor has the government been able to tackle the country`s astronomical HIV/Aids epidemic, which is one of the highest rates in the world. The question many, including the banned opposition party, are asking is why would any reasonable NGO rather buy a jet for the king and his wives while the majority of the citizens are perpetually subjected to a miserable brink of the future? It is in the light of the government`s inability to convincingly address these doubts that many believe that the said jet must have been bought from the taxpayers` money.
Ironically, with a personal fortune of estimated $200m ( £62m), King Watims III is rated by the Forbes magazine as the world’s 15th richest monarch. However, this personal wealth is a mockery in the face of many of his 1.2 desperately poor subjects, who work hard and struggle to survive at less than US$2 per day, while the king`s wives are busy spending millions of dollars worldwide on shopping sprees. With the accumulated wealth in mind, many are now wondering whose interest the king is protecting.
“˜It is time serious action was taken against such selfish people [the corrupt] and it should be action that truly serves as a very effective deterrent if this country is to make any progress economically from this day forth. We must make sacrifices if we really want to move our country forward.“ The king warned during his address to the parliament in February. He looked at his listening robot ““ like subjects, most of them avoiding eye contact with him like a little child who has met their mother naked. He studied their faces and went further: “To demonstrate my serious determination to make sacrifices, I have cancelled my silver jubilee celebrations last year because our kingdom is in a financial doom.“
But not everyone is convinced that the king, who is widely accused of extravagant lifestyle and profligate spending, is seriously committed to austerity measures. It did not help that his majesty only cancelled his silver jubilee celebrations last year after protests from many quarters who could not rightly justify the lavish spending in the face of the kingdom’s cash crisis.
Interestingly, the 2011 annual budget saw a 20 percent cut in most government departments spending. However, King Watims and his family took an increase of 23 percent over the previous year instead.
When Kata Kata`s reporter requested the spokesperson in his office to clarify some claims she read in some media that the king has had 13 palaces built (one for each of his wives) as well as bought a fleet of 20 top customs-made Mercedes and BMW cars in the past few years, he looked steadily at the reporter rather confused and uttered some incoherent words.
“Like I said, the gift, I mean the jet, is from our development partners and friends of the king who wished to remain anonymous.“
“It is a common practice that NGOs operating in a country ““ including Landswazi ““ disclose their identity and work. It is equally not abnormal that these organisations publish their annual financial account. In other words, by their nature, development agencies are transparent. Having in mind that no development partner would want to be anonymous, does it bother you that some might have problems buying your explanation that anonymous donors bought the jet for his majesty?“ Kata Kata`s reporter asked.
“The development partners are people already involved in the social and economic development of our country. It is normal in this part of the world not to want to be mentioned when giving gifts,” The government official Mr. Cyper Lanesime stammered.
When Kata Kata`s reporter asked whether it would be acceptable to the king to demonstrate his commitment and sacrifice towards the welfare of his citizens in this austere time by requesting that these “anonymous donors“ should rather invest the cash for the jet in the economic development of Landswazi, his face thickened somehow in confusion.
“You don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.'” Mr. Lanesime responded idiomatically and got up abruptly as if he was bitten by a scorpion. “I am afraid I must end this interview. I am a busy man; I have much work to do for the citizens, who look towards us for salvation ““ especially in this terrible economic time, which is caused by some fastidious unpatriotic elements. He added, and left, ending the interview prematurely.
Our reporter waited in Mr. Lanesime`s cozy office, still hoping that he would re-emerge. She saw on the table the manuscript of King Watims` speech at the opening of parliament on Friday 3 February 2012. It reads:
“As we move forward in rebuilding this country amidst all these challenges, one must express serious disappointment at some individuals who continue to plunder state resources for personal benefit.
“˜We have seen these individuals divert national funds intended for important projects for their own benefit.
“˜We can no longer allow these people to place their personal interest above that of the country
Until the citizens of Landswazi quickly identify “these people,“ they will sadly remain slaves in their country.
The above story is a parody. It is entirely fictitious; therefore none of the characters mentioned in the story are real.