Swaziland’s state-controlled television channel Swazi TV has revamped its website.
But, rather like its controller, the Swazi Government, it promises much and delivers very little.
Swazi TV’s public relations people promised we could ‘now watch the top local news of the day’ on the Internet outside of the kingdom.
As we know Barnabas Dlamini, the illegally-appointed Prime Minister of Swaziland, and his Government have been making a lot of noise recently about how they want to ensure that Swaziland gets ‘better’ coverage in the international media.
By ‘better’ they mean coverage that gives only their point of view and allows them to lie both to the ordinary people in Swaziland and to the international community.
So, I thought, Swazi TV on the Internet would be a propaganda coup for King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
If, like me, you clicked on hoping to see up-to-date news from Swaziland (as promised), you would have disappointed (but, frankly, not really surprised) to see that all the site had to offer was one two-minute and one five-minute extract from two bulletins. Only one had a date on it – 12 September 2010.
They didn’t bother to tell us when the other was broadcast, but I’d reckon it was also sometime in September or early October.
So not much to watch, but the signs were there that this is going to be the voice of the ruling regime. The main story on the first bulletin was about the appointment of Rev David Matse as the new Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister. He replaced Ndumiso Mamba, who Swazi TV News told us, had resigned following ‘unspecified rumours he was being investigated for’.
As it stands, Swazi TV online is nothing more than a flea bite to the progressive community that is beginning to dominate the international news coverage of events in Swaziland. Dlamini can huff and puff all he likes but he is losing the battle for truth and Swazi TV Online isn’t going to alter that any time soon.
Click below to watch the first Swazi TV Online news broadcast – it runs for a little over two minutes.