Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Boys Will Be Boys

It’s not exactly clear why the sons of cruel, corrupt, egomaniacal and all around horrible despots grow up to be just as bad, if not worse than Dad. Perhaps it’s genetic. Maybe it’s environmental. Possibly there’s a secret boarding school somewhere to which Junior is sent to study greed, criminality and election rigging with a major in working the international community and assorted rock stars and movie celebrities for aid. Whatever the reason, the sons of President’s For Life, Supreme Leaders, Absolute Kings and National Treasures all seem to fit right in when they take over Dad’s business. The Assad boy slipped right into the job in Syria when Senior kicked off. That dopey Jong-Il kid surprised everyone when old Kim Il was carted off to Beloved Leader Land. Little Faure Gnassingbe of Togo not only learned how to pronounce his name but was ready to go when the old man clocked it. Although their apprenticeships were cut short by about 200 bullets, it’s a safe bet that the Hussein boys would have made Papa proud when they eventually moved into the really big palace. And then there’s that young Mswati lad.

Actually it’s King Mswati III and the country he’s the king of is Swaziland. Swaziland sits between South Africa and Mozambique and consists of 17,203 sq. kilometres of land and 160 sq. kilometres of water. There is often a long queue for a drink of water. About 1,600,000 people live in the country and about half of them live in sub-standard housing. The other half are waiting for more sub-standard housing to be built. The median age of females is 18.8 years – that’s the good news for Mswati. The bad news is that Swaziland has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world.

By the time dear old Mswati II was fit for a coffin, he had set high standards for III. He had dozens of wives, around 250 children, a couple of limos, and a very nifty palace with all conveniences. He also managed to have three square meals every day, which is 2.89 more than most of the happy citizens of Swaziland. But III is certainly up to the challenge.

There’s the Daimler-Chrysler Maybach 62 that cost £280,000 that was bought last December. It really looks nice on the country’s road. There’s also the brand new Mercedes 600 stretch limousine in case the ashtray in the Maybach is dirty. Of course III is sensitive to the fact the 40% of his devoted subjects are unemployed. He realises that the new Merc might be a cause of resentment. Happily Parliament has solved that problem. It is now illegal to photograph III getting into or getting out of his car. In fairness he did drop the plan to buy a £28 million private jet – at least for now.

There is one area where III is not doing very well against II. He only has 10 wives and 23 children so far. Actually he also has three fiancés but they become wives as soon as they get pregnant. If III’s plumbing is as good as II’s, that should not take too long. Being the generous guy he is, III has built a separate palace for each wife (that cuts down on bickering over which TV show to watch). So far the palace fund is about £8 million lighter. He’s also ordered a new BMW for each of the wives. The cost only amounted to half the total foreign aid Great Britain forked over last year. Given the fact that total government revenues are about £250 million, some folks are a bit worried about II breaking III’s nuptial record. But there are about 590,000 women in Swaziland, and their median age is 18.8 years…and boys will be boys.


Blogger birdwoman said...

These guys really put the DICK in dictator...

Africa is such a basket case. Is there a single, stable government in sub-saharan africa? Kissing the ground here today.


10:55 AM  
Blogger Der Tommissar said...

Like Mel Brooks said.

"It's good to be the king."

2:49 PM  

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