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Swaziland King Turns 40, Subjects Lament 40% HIV Rate

Swaziland, the only African country with an absolute monarch, is gearing up for its big 40-40 party this weekend, celebrating the 40th birthday of its King Mswati III, and 40 years since its independence from Britain. In preparation, the national stadium received a makeover so it can properly host military bands, traditional singers and dancers, a royal garden party, and state banquet for the likes of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe.

Yet many subjects don't get a sense of jubilation from the number 40 — 40 percent of Swaziland's adult population has HIV, and the unemployment rate is 40 percent. One number that doesn't quite reach 40 is life expectancy —thanks to AIDS the average person in Swaziland will live to 31-years-old.

Ten thousand protesters gathered earlier this week in Manzini, Swaziland, to protest the use of public funds for the duel celebration of 40 years of independence and the king's 40th birthday, and demand multi-party elections in 2008, and increased availability of drugs. Hopefully things will improve for Swaziland over the next 40 years.


Swaziland absolute monarch Mswati III

Protesters

Protesters

Protesters

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nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
rabidmoon that's been going on for aeons , it may be absurd to you but it just gets an eyeroll from everyone else in Africa because most of these girls are pretty desperate to marry him and find themselves in the lap of luxury. Anyway I'm so over this idiot and that other idiot Mugabe.
rabidmoon rabidmoon 8 years
She left out the most absurd part.. I read this a few days ago on Reuters, who reported that... ...and this is dead-honest truth... on top of all this, the female virgins of age parade for him, half naked, in the hopes he will select one of them to be his (latest) wife. I didn't make that stuff up. :P Seems like no matter who runs a country in Africa, it ends up being corrupt beyond belief with pale few exceptions. A country with such massive natural and mineral resources, and yet the people continually suffer on an unbelievable scale. So damn disgusting and sad.
MLLS MLLS 8 years
that's terrible
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