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King approved by his people - survey

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MBABANE – His Majesty King Mswati III is among the majority of African leaders who have earned approval from their people.

The King received a majority vote from the Swazi people in a survey conducted by Gallup Poll, a research-based performance management consulting company, that specifically conducts regular public opinion polls in over 140 countries worldwide.

His Majesty’s popularity even surpasses that of renowned leaders such as the United States of America’s President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister, David Cameron.

The approval of Obama and Cameron fell short to that of the King by six percentage points.

According to the Gallup website, the results are based on face-to-face interviews with 1 000 adults aged 15 and older conducted between November 13 and November 21 last year.

English and siSwati languages, the kingdom’s two official dialects, were used during the survey. The state of economy, according to Gallup Poll, "does have an influence on Africans’ assessments of their country’s leader, at least to some extent".

Further, confidence in the judicial system elicits similar levels of approval ratings, Gallup said. At the time the survey was conducted, Swaziland was experiencing its worst financial crisis that triggered a number of protests from labour organisations and banned political entities.

Civil servants were disenchanted as government had proposed a cut in their salaries, as per the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund. The kingdom was also struggling to pay the salaries of civil servants because of cash constraints.

Neighbouring South Africa also held back a E2.4 billion loan that it had initially approved for Swaziland and this stance fuelled the kingdom’s fiscal difficulties. Judicially, Swaziland was faced with a serious crisis that saw a High Court judge being dismissed and lawyers engaging in a boycott of the country’s courts.

Despite these challenges, the interviewees approved of His Majesty’s leadership, even the renowned Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe received lower ratings than the monarch.

The King’s approval was rated alongside the likes of South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, Ghana’s John Atta Mills and Mauritania’s Mohamed Ould Aziz, with only two percentage points separating these leaders’ ratings.

Lesotho Prime Minister, Phakalithi Mosisili, Democratic Republic of Congo President, Joseph Kabila, Malawi’s deceased leader, Bingu Wa Mutharika, Senegal’s President, Abdoulaye Wade, Zambia’s Rupiah Banda, Comoros’ Ikililou Dhoinine and Angola’s Jose Eduardo dos Santos also received lower approval ratings compared to His Majesty. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Comments

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