Soldiers in Swaziland have held a ‘clandestine meeting’ to discuss their grievances over pay and conditions.
It is reported at the end of the meeting they sang songs calling for the overthrow of King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
The Southern Africa Report (SAR) journal this week (11 January 2012) reports the meeting took place over the Christmas – New Year period at Matsapha barracks.
SAR says soldiers, ‘held a clandestine meeting to air their mounting grievances over pay and conditions. Anger had been running high among soldiers over the creaming off by senior officers of funds from the Hlalawati army savings and cooperative society. The practice apparently directly benefits those members of the royal family among the military top brass.’
SAR adds, ‘The soldiers complained too about being forced to stump up R650 for uniforms out of their wages under a new tendering agreement overseen by Mswati. There are also food shortages at Matsapha barracks due to savings cuts imposed by the royal-owned enterprise that supplies food to the army. The rebellious soldiers ended their meeting with songs calling for Mswati’s overthrow.’
To read the full SAR report, click here.