The Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper, has censored itself over a poll showing disapproval of King Mswati III.
The Times today (8 May 2012) reports a Gallup finding that only 40 percent of Swazi people approve of the way the government runs the kingdom.
But, what the Times did not report was that the same poll found that 43 percent of Swazi people disapprove of King Mswati’s leadership. The King is sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
The self-censorship at the Times comes only days after Times’ managing editor, Mbongeni Mbingo, wrote in his own newspaper, ‘the challenge for us all in this country is access to information; and there can be no freedom if we are still battling to access basic information freely’.
Mbingo was reacting to criticism Swazi journalists received during an event to mark World Press Freedom Day on 3 May.
Mbingo went on, ‘The press, therefore, tries under the prevailing situation to do all it can to publish information that is balanced and accurate.’
POLL SHOWS DISAPPROVAL OF SWAZI KING
MEDIA FREEDOM AMONG GLOBAL WORSE