Barnabas Dlamini, Swaziland’s illegally-appointed Prime Minister, accepted his human rights medal this weekend even though the organisation awarding it had been exposed as a scam and the man leading it is a well-known con man.
Dlamini was in the Bahamas to accept the medal from the World Citizen Awards, which had been exposed on Friday (1 October 2010) by the Associated Press (AP) news agency as ‘little more than a Florida phone number and website’.
AP also revealed that World Citizen Awards had lied about the identity of its supporters and about other aspects of the award.
Despite this Dlamini felt able to accept the medal, which the Swazi Government had said in an official statement, was made because Dlamini is a ‘highly respected global figure, whose role in history has been significant’.
This award was in recognition of his ‘pre-eminent role in the shaping of the global community and continued influence on the world stage’, it said.
When cornered by the Tribune newspaper in the Bahamas, Rudy King changed his tune about why the medal had been awarded.
He told the Tribune that the award was not actually for the Prime Minister of Swaziland Barnabas Dlamini but rather the Kingdom of Swaziland for its efforts in combating the scourge of the AIDS virus.
‘Swaziland was chosen, not the prime minister. The Kingdom of Swaziland was chosen for their strides to combat AIDS in their country. The honour was placed on him because he is the present Prime Minister,’ King told the Tribune.
Back in Swaziland there remain unanswered questions. Why did the Swazi Government approve of the award without first checking on the background of the organisation giving it? How much has it cost the Swazi taxpayer to send Dlamini and his entourage to the Bahamas and did they have to pay any money to the World Citizen Awards organisation to subsidise the cost of the ceremony?
And lastly: Why did Dlamini go ahead and accept the award after the world knew that it was being given by a scam organisation and a con artist?