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Vol 46 No 9

Published 29th April 2005

Democracy's a luxury

The economy is failing and running out of food as King Mswati buys a $500,000 limousine

Swaziland has become synonymous with royal extravagance, in an absolute monarchy whose sovereigns have long resisted local and international pressure for democracy. The ruling class is deaf to the growing cries of the poor and hungry. Swaziland has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS infection in the world, at around 40 per cent of 15-49 year olds, according to United Nations' figures. That's around 200,000 adults, while some 20,000 children are also infected.

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