The Swazi Government is pressing for a news agency to be set up in the kingdom that will tell the world ‘the truth’ about Swaziland.
Ministers think people overseas aren’t getting a true picture of what is going on in Swaziland. In short, they want the overseas’ media to be like the Swazi Observer, the newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
Should such a thing ever come to pass, can we expect to read more reports like this one that appeared in the Observer yesterday (20 October 2010).
It was written by Musa Ndlangamandla, the editor-in-chief, and headlined King’s Charisma Will Bring Investors – Lutfo.
In the report Lutfo Dlamini, the minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, says ‘the King's charisma and unwavering involvement in seeking investment for the country is a plus in pushing the country’s development agenda’.
He was speaking in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). ‘The King continues to put the interest of his people above everything else and he reaches out to all sectors of the Swazi society,’ he says.
The Observer went on, ‘Minister Dlamini added that His Majesty’s wise leadership is appreciated not only by the Swazi nation, but the region, continent and indeed the world.’
It added, ‘His Majesty's philosophy of promoting peace in the country is one of the key catalysts that bind the nation together and is a key ingredient to attracting foreign direct investment. It is a blessing to have a leader of His majesty’s calibre because he is a leader who has put his people's welfare as one of his major priorities.’
Anyone who follows events in Swaziland will know there is not one jot of truth in what Dlamini says, but it is just the kind of ‘news report’ the king and his discredited government want to see circulating around the world.