Swaziland is to spend US$150 million on security in the coming year, the kingdom’s annual budget reveals. It amounts to 11 percent of the tiny kingdom’s total budget.
The money will be spent on the army (USDF), police and correctional services. It continues a trend of massive military spending by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. The security budget of E2.3bn is more than the E2.0bn set aside for health. The total budget is E20.6bn.
Only weeks after it was announced Swaziland would seek E143 million (US$9 million) from the international community because it could not pay for drought relief, the Swazi Finance Minister announced the Government would buy the kingdom’s autocratic monarch King Mswati III a jet plane costing at least E96 million.
The Observer on Saturday, a newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati, reported the money was set aside as part of the annual budget announced by the Swazi Finance Minister Martin Dlamini on Friday (4 March 2016).