Barnabas Dlamini, the increasingly eccentric Swazi Prime Minister, says he wants journalists to seek his permission before they write about Swaziland.
Dlamini, who was illegally-appointed to his job by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, told the Swaziland Senate that journalists who are in league with ‘enemies’ of Swaziland were writing bad things about the kingdom – and worst still, they were getting paid for it.
Dlamini said he wanted the journalists ‘clamped down on’. Dlamini has already publicly stated that he wants to see foreigners who criticise him and his regime tortured by foot whipping.
He said there were people who write articles which taint the image of the kingdom, adding that this was not acceptable. He claimed, without giving any evidence to support his assertion, that the people were funded by other countries to write the articles.
‘We have a lot of them who write every Sunday in the newspaper and they are being paid for it. So we must decide, as a government, if we want such people in the country.’
He said such people will in future have to ask for permission from government to write about Swaziland. He said his government was exploring to see whether a law existed to allow him to do this. If no law existed his government would write one and bring it to Senate, he said.
In fact a law exists in Swaziland that allows journalists to write what they like about the Government. It’s called the Constitution. Dlamini should read it some time.