£1m well spent



KING MSWATI III of Swaziland, Africa’s last absolute monarch, has hit back at mounting criticism of his extravagant lifestyle by banning all photographs of a growing fleet of luxury cars.

The purchase of the Maybach 62 prompted protests at his profligacy in a country enduring food shortages and the highest HIV/Aids infection rate in the world. Seventy per cent of the population lives in absolute poverty and unemployment is 40 per cent.

As well as the Maybach 62, the king announced two weeks ago that he was spending £450,000 — almost half the £1 million UK aid his kingdom received last year — on buying ten BMW 5 series for his wives

# Swaziland recently surpassed Botswana as the country with the highest HIV/Aids infection rate, at almost 39 per cent of the population
# Swazi men have a life expectancy of 39 years and women only 35 years
# 40 per cent of the Swazi population lives below the poverty line
# In 2002 more than a quarter of the population needed emergency food aid
# King Mswati selects a new wife every September
# The last Swazi king, Sobhuza II, is estimated to have fathered 250 children

Anyway the X5 isn't designed for cross country off-roading. More like the school run, across the rough roads of posh suburbia.


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