Gallupolling dissatisfaction in Swaziland

It is not often that the Swazi people get to say what they think about anything - let alone their King. Their elections are little more than 'selections' given the ban on political parties. And their press is not allowed to be much more than a praise-singer for the monarchy. But a Gallup poll conducted late in 2011 has at least given an idea of what Swazis think - and it won't be happy reading for the King and his clique since more than 40% of Swazis disapprove of the King's performance.

Richard Lee's picture

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Strategic communications for WWF

May 3rd, 2012

It is not often that the Swazi people get to say what they think about anything - let alone their King. Their elections are little more than 'selections' given the ban on political parties. And their press is not allowed to be much more than a praise-singer for the monarchy. But a Gallup poll conducted late in 2011 has at least given an idea of what Swazis think - and it won't be happy reading for the King and his clique since more than 40% of Swazis disapprove of the King's performance.

I must admit that it's still a surprise that 56% of people approve of King Mswati's dismal reign - characterised by abuse of state funds, contempt for human rights, disrespect for the Swazi people and widespread poverty, unemployment and hunger. But then again, they are force fed a diet of pro-king stories in the media, controlled by their pro-king chiefs and threatened by their pro-king forces of 'law and order'.

It will be interesting to see what coverage the poll gets in the local Swazi media. And even more interesting to see what the result would be if Swazis were ever allowed to participate in genuine secret, multi-party democratic polls.

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