November 16, 2003

King appoints "business-minded" premier

Themba "AT" Dlamini was appointed the kingdom's new prime minister by king Mswati III. Before his appointment, Dlamini served as the managing director of Tibiyo, a royal holding company, a position he held for more than 10 years. As head of Tibiyo, he managed the king's businesses, including the king's treasury. Before he was the project manager at the Swaziland Industrial Development Corporation, a parastatal tasked to solicit both international and domestic investments. Dlamini has also been the chairman of both the Swaziland Royal Sugar Corporation and Illovo Swaziland, a South African-based sugar production company.

An insider said he was "a very business-minded person" and that he would "definitely be welcomed by the business sector". This sentiment was shared by the general secretary of the banned opposition People's United Democratic Movement, Bonginkhosi Dlamini, adding that he said he did not expect any political changes. "The prime minister carries the mandate of the royal family, so he serves the interests of the royal family," said Dlamini. Bongani Masuku, the general secretary of the South African-based Swaziland Solidarity Network, said in reaction: "The face has changed, but the content remains the same. He belongs to the privileged royal club." (Sunday Times, Johannesburg)

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