Mswati III was born Makhosetive on 19 April, 1968. He is the king (Swazi: Ngwenyama, Ingwenyama yemaSwati) of Eswatini and head of the Swazi Royal Family. He was born in Manzini in the Protectorate of Swaziland to King Sobhuza II and one of his younger wives, Ntfombi Tfwala.
Mswati Profile Overview
|Real Name:||Makhosetive Mswati III|
|Birthday:||19 April, 1968|
|Place of Birth:||Manzini, Swaziland|
|Net Worth:||$200 million (N77,600,000,000)|
Biography and Life Career
He was crowned as Mswati III, Ingwenyama and King of Swaziland, on 25 April 1986 at the age of 18, thus becoming the youngest ruling monarch in the world at that time. Together with his mother, Ntfombi Tfwala, now Queen Mother (Ndlovukati), he rules the country as an absolute monarch. Mswati III is known for his practice of polygamy (although at least two wives are appointed by the state) and currently has 15 wives. His policies and lavish lifestyle have led to local protests and international criticism.
Mswati was introduced as Crown Prince in September 1983 and was crowned king on 25 April 1986, aged 18 years and 6 days, and thus making him the youngest reigning monarch until the ascension of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan on 14 December 2006; he was also the youngest head of state until Joseph Kabila took office on 26 January 2001 as President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The king and his mother, whose title is Indlovukati (“Great She-Elephant”), rule jointly.
Mswati III AS KING
Today King Mswati III is Africa’s last absolute monarch in the sense that he has the power to choose the prime minister, other top government posts and top traditional posts. Even though he makes the appointments, he still has to get special advice from the queen mother and council, for example when he chooses the prime minister. In matters of cabinet appointments, he gets advice from the prime minister. He ruled by decree, but did restore the nation’s Parliament, which had been dissolved by his father in order to ensure concentration of power remained with the king.
In 2004, Mswati promulgated a new constitution that allows freedom of speech and assembly for the media and public, while retaining the traditional Tinkhundla system. Amnesty International has criticized the new constitution as inadequate in some respects.
In an attempt to mitigate the HIV and AIDS pandemic in 2001, the king used his traditional powers to invoke a time-honoured chastity rite (umcwasho) under the patronage of a princess, which encouraged all Swazi maidens to abstain from sexual relations for five years. This was last done under Sobhuza II in 1971. This rite banned sexual relations for Swazis under 18 years of age from 9 September 2001 and 19 August 2005, but just two months after imposing the ban, he violated this decree when a liphovela (royal fiancée) was chosen, who became his 13th wife. As per custom, he was fined a cow by members of her regiment, which he duly paid.
Mswati III family succession
The king currently has 15 wives and 25 children. A Swazi king’s first two wives are chosen for him by the national councillors. There are complex rules on succession. Traditionally the king is chosen through his mother as represented in the Swazi saying Inkhosi, yinkhosi ngenina, meaning “a king is king through his mother”. According to tradition, he can marry his fiancées only after they have fallen pregnant, proving they can bear heirs. Until then, they are termed liphovela, or “brides”.
Mswati III LEADERSHIP Controversies
Mswati’s reign has brought some changes in the government and political transformation. However, critics such as the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) believe that these changes are solely aimed at strengthening and perpetuating the traditional order. His attendance at the May 2012 Sovereign Monarchs lunch, to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, caused some controversy, given criticisms of his regime’s human rights record.
Mswati’s reign has been criticized for its several alleged human rights violations. His regime has been accused of using torture and excessive force to control the masses as well as blatant discrimination against various dissenting groups. He has been accused of kidnapping women he desires to marry, although no case can be brought against him. In addition, in 2000 he allegedly called for a parliamentary meeting to debate if HIV-positive people should be “sterilized and branded”.
Mswati III Assets & Biography
Mswati has been criticized for his lifestyle, especially by the media; in one report he has been accused of living a lavish lifestyle whilst his people starve. In the 2014 national budget, parliament allocated $61 million (US) for the King’s annual household budget, while 63% of Swazis live on less than $1.25 per day.
In January 2004 the Times of Swaziland reported that the king asked his government to spend about $15-million to redecorate three main palaces and build others for each of his 11 wives. Mswati has a personal stake in a large portion of Swaziland’s economy which is a factor in its below-average economic growth for a Sub-Saharan nation. As an absolute monarch, he holds the power to dissolve parties, and can veto any legislation parliament passes.
Mswati III net worth is estimated at $200 million.