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Protest in London over visit by Swazi King PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 20 May 2012 11:50

Media Release from the Swaziland Vigil – 16th May 2012

Protestors demonstrated outside a leading London hotel against the visit of King Mswati III of Swaziland – Africa’s last absolute ruler – who is in the UK to attend a diamond jubilee banquet for the world’s monarchs hosted by the Queen at Windsor Castle on Friday 18th May.

The protest was organised by the Swaziland Vigil which stages regular demonstrations outside the Swaziland High Commission in London in protest at the king’s autocratic rule. They were supported by the Zimbabwe Vigil which protests against Mugabe and by Action for Southern Africa (the successor organisation to the Anti-Apartheid Movement) along with members of British trade unions.

Amid drumming, singing and chants of ‘Mswati must go’ the demonstrators outside the Savoy hotel in the Strand carried banners reading: King Mswati buys £30m plane while his people eat cow dung’, ‘Mswati and his 30 strong entourage stay in £400 a night Savoy Hotel while his people starve’, ‘End human rights abuses in Swaziland’, and ‘Democracy now for Swaziland’.

A spokesperson for the Swaziland Vigil Flora Dlamini said the Swazi people were demanding democracy and an end to the feudal regime under which no political parties were allowed and freedom of expression was curtailed.

 ‘We have one of the richest kings in the world and yet we live in poverty. People are starving but he is here with more than 30 people in one of the most expensive hotels in London.

King Mswati (44) who has married 13 women was said, by two young women who came out of the Savoy, to be flirting with them asking about the best night clubs and shopping in the area.

The Swaziland Vigil is also to demonstrate outside the Swaziland High Commission in London on Saturday when King Mswati hosts a dinner there.

A BBC photographer passed by and took photos. He has posted this on twitter: ‘What the King of Swaziland might see if he looks out of his window at the Savoy Hotel in London’ (#royal http://pic.twitter.com/bNEcIcm6). He has also posted a sound bite on the following link: http://audioboo.fm/boos/804353-demo-against-swaziland-s-king-mswati-iii-outside-savoy.

Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu, Flora Dlamini, Margaret Dlamini, Mary Muteyerwa, Georgina Makaza, Bernard Hukwa, Ellen Gonyora, Kelvin Kamupira, Ndana Sanyanga, Edward Mutamiswa, Tim Rusike and Rose Benton who attended the protest.

Photos link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/sets/72157629759134256/. 

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