King Mswati III of Swaziland has shut down viral reports that allege he ordered men to marry more than two wives or face jail time.
Reacting to the false report that emanated from Zambian Observer and has been republished in many other newspapers, Percy Simelane, the Government spokesperson denounced it as malicious.
He also issued a statement to deny the report. The statement reads in part,
“The current dispatch titled marry more wives or face jail quoting the King are not only an insult to the monarchy but a disgrace to journalism. His majesty has not made any pronouncement to that effect and it has never been an issue raised by Emaswatini.”
Simelane has also demanded that the newspaper that broke the story provides proof that the King Mswati Of Eswatini uttered such words.
A statement published by Swazi Observer on Tuesday set the records straight:
“Government has denounced malicious reports about His Majesty King Mswati III and country in the wake of several poisonous reports published in some foreign newspapers, social media platforms and other forums purported to be official statements by the King.
“In a statement Government’s Spokesperson Percy Simelane last night said Government wished to state the following: “The current dispatch titled ‘Marry more wives or face jail’ quoting the King, and all other related reports, are not only an insult to the Monarchy and the culture of Eswatini but a disgrace to journalism.
“His Majesty has not made any pronouncement to that effect as it has never been an issue raised by Emaswati.
“We will continue to appeal for morality, responsible behaviour and professionalism among journalists and the general public with access to social media.
“It would be unfortunate if journalism and social media are turned into character assassination platforms and springboards to ridicule individuals and leaders.
The earlier report claimed the government would pay for the marriage ceremonies and buy houses for those who marry at least five wives.