The Weekend Observer, a newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati III, today (2 October 20120) published in full the report from the Associated Press, detailing how Barnabas Dlamini, Swaziland’s illegally-appointed Prime Minister, fell for a scam over an award for his humanitarian work and support of human rights.
This small example of journalistic integrity is worthy of note since it was the same newspaper that last week splashed the story of Dlamini’s medal all over its news pages and gave the government line that this demonstrated that Dlamini was considered a world statesman.
The Weekend Observer and its partner daily newspaper the Swazi Observer have a much deserved reputation as over-zealous supporters of the king and Dlamini. Dlamini was put in office by the king in contravention of the Swazi Constitution to take on the progressives in the kingdom, who want to see an end to King Mswati’s role as the last absolute monarch in sub-Saharan Africa and who want full democracy introduced.
I’d like to think that the reporting of Dlamini’s public humiliation heralds a new era at the newspapers. I doubt that it is, unless, of course, they tell their readers about the Swazi Royal Family sex scandal that has been reported all over the world this week, but not at all in Swaziland.