eSwatini Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini Dies

eSwatini Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini has reportedly died following a month long battle with COVID-19, this according to Al Jazeera. eSwatini government released a statement on Sunday confirming Dlamini’s death who reportedly died in a South African hospital. Dlamini had been under medical care after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 on the 16th of November. eSwatini Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku called his death “untimely” in a public statement released this past Sunday evening.


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According to News24, Dlamini was moved to South Africa for medical care on the 1st of December. Dlamini was reportedly undergoing treatment and responding well. Times of Swaziland reports that 52-year-old Dlamini was transferred to South Africa for better medical care after spending a week in ICU at Mbabane Government Hospital. Masuku was hopeful that the transfer would assist Dlamini’s recovery. Dlamini had developed water in his lungs at the time of his death and passed away although the water was surgically drained. The official cause of death has not been released though some news outlets claim COVID-19 complications.

Additionally Yahoo, SABC and Al Jazeera caused controversy around Dlamini’s death after publishing a photograph of Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi and misidentified him as Dlamini. The publications later rectified the error after receiving backlash.

Dlamini was selected Prime Minister of eSswatini in October 2018 by King Mswati III. He was an economist with a masters degree from the USA and was CEO of telecoms giant eSwatini MTN. According to Times of Swaziland, he earned more as CEO at eSwatini MTN than the kingdom’s prime minister. He was set to head Botswana MTN before King Mswati III recruited him.

eSwatini’s economy and public health sector are admittedly lacking resources; almost half the population lives in poverty. Dlamini had drastic fiscal plans for government including government cabinet members flying economy class. His death brings an abrupt end to the economic plans for the last remaining monarch in Africa. eSwatini is infamous for the royal family’s lavish living despite governing a very poor population. Conversely, government officials have limited power because of the monarchy’s rule.

Formerly known as Swaziland, eSwatini has a reported population of just 1.2 million people. According to BBC news, 6768 coronavirus cases have been reported with 127 deaths. Dlamini was asymptomatic and feeling relatively well when he announced his COVID-19 diagnosis.