Red carpet fit for King Mswati only

King Mswati III, Swaziland
King Mswati III, Swaziland

If the Oscars or Golden Globes ever desire an African venue for their star-studded shows, they won’t be choosing Swaziland now that police have banned walking on red carpets by anyone other than King Mswati.

“The use of red carpets has come under strict monitoring as the Royal Swaziland Police service has been removing such carpets during glamorous social events,” the Times of Swaziland reported on Tuesday.

Carpets of any colour that are used to evoke status and privilege for those who walk them run afoul of the kingdom’s police, reports state.

“There is no law that gives the police the basis for their actions,’ the newspaper noted.

For several years, a red carpet has been rolled out for Mswati as he attends special events and boards or disembarks from his private jet at the national airport.

The ban on commoners walking the red carpet has never been publicly announced. Police simply show up and remove any carpet before it’s used.

At last year’s Businesswoman of the Year Award gala presentation, organisers “rolled out a red carpet, which was however removed by the police”, the newspaper reported.

When this year’s event was held, the event organisers chose to use a white carpet for guests, who included the country’s prime minister.

However, the colour change made no difference.

The police also confiscated the white carpet.

Independent Foreign Service