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Thursday, 27 May 2010

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE . . .

It is interesting to see that suddenly India has become Swaziland’s new best friend.


India has promised to give Swaziland credit worth 10 million US dollars (E8 million) to help pay for a new science and technology park in the kingdom.


Thanks very much friend. But what’s this? Swaziland is going to support India’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council.


Oh I get it. It’s Taiwan all over again. You will remember that Swaziland has a special relationship with Taiwan (to build textile sweatshops and to exploit Swazi workers) and in return King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, supports Taiwan’s bid for membership of the UN (and opposes ‘mainland’ China).


So there you have it. The only way Swaziland can get ‘investment’ from abroad is to prostitute itself to the highest bidder.


But the king sold his subjects short this time: the ‘line of credit’ is a loan and has to be paid back. Perhaps the king will sell off one of his Mercedes cars or a Rolls Royce to help out.


You could see that the Indians weren’t really that interested in Swaziland. When the Indian government asked politicians in that country if they wanted to go on a trip to Swaziland they lined up for the chance.


As the media across the world (but not in Swaziland) have been reporting their enthusiasm did not last long. When they landed in Delhi they discovered they were going to Africa. ‘We all thought we were going to Switzerland,’ said a despondent legislator, admitting that not many of them had heard about a country called Swaziland.

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