LOBAMBA: King Mswati’s buganu national ‘drinking spree’ ceremony that ended this week costs taxpayers about R3million in transport and catering services.
This Swaziland News gathered that about 100 government trucks transported women around the country who attended the event as per the King’s command, each truck allegedly consumed about R5,200.00 diesel and this brings the figure to R520,000.00.
Furthermore, government sources revealed that the costs to feed the participants of the event was about E1million for each event, this then bring the figure to E3million for the Buhleni and Hlane ceremonies.
Reached for comment, Thamsanqa Hlatjwako, the Spokesperson of the Political Parties Assembly(PPA) said it was wrong for the King to use taxpayers money to host his ‘drinking spree’ ceremony.
"The Roman Empire used to host one ceremony after the other, it crumbled as State resources were all used. It was wrong for the Mornachy to use public funds for this event. In South Africa, KwaZulu Natal people attend the buganu ceremony but no transport is provided by the State. The King uses such cultural events to seek loyalty" said Hlatjwako.
Nhlanhla Nxumalo, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed that the women were transported with trucks and buses.
“The government provides trucks which transports women during the Buganu ceremony, however, we supplement those trucks with buses,” said Nxumalo.
Exiled Prophet Gcina Mtsetfwa says the concept of buganu drinking spree is immoral and against Christian values.
“This is extremely wrong, the Bible does not allow females to drink alcohol. Hlane and Buhleni are now considered spiritually as Sodom and Gomorrah.The Bible in Habakkuk 2:15 states: Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbours pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk so that he can gaze on their naked bodies!” said the prophet.
But Ludzidzini Royal Palace Governor Lusendvo Fakudze says the King seeks to unite all Swazis through hosting the buganu drinking spree.
“This culture is about socialising, sisuke siyewushiyelana lugwayi ebuganwini. Am not talking about having sex here, I am talking about having a serious discussion and guiding each other on our traditional values as Swazis. Those who are having sex at buganu are misrepresenting us the Swazi nation. We do not encourage adultery. The beauty of the buganu ceremony is that it offers women a business opportunity as they sell buganu during the event which is attended by many people,” he explained.
Women attending the King's Began ceremony