Doosuur Iwambe, Abuja
His Majesty King Mswati III of Swaziland has described as false and malicious news making the rounds on social media that he ordered men in his country to marry more wives, to reduce the number of unmarried women in his country, or face a jail term.
In a statement issued by the Swaziland government and signed by Percy Simelane, its spokesperson, on Monday, the monarch described the report as false, misleading and a deliberate attempt to drag his name to the mud.
He also said that such claims are not only an “insult” but a “disgrace to journalism.”
King Mswati blamed the Zambian Observer newspaper for the upsurged of the “poisonous reports” and demanded that the newspaper produces the supposed statement allegedly issued by him.
The statement read: “In the wake of several poisonous reports published in some foreign newspapers, social media platforms and other forums purported to be an official statement by His Majesty, King Mswati III, Government wishes to state the following:
“The current dispatch titled ‘Marry more wives or face jail,’ quoting the King is not only an insult to the monarchy but a disgrace to journalism.
“His Majesty has not made any pronouncement to that effect as it has never been an issue raised by Emaswati.
“We will continue to appeal for morality, responsible behaviour and professionalism among journalists and the general public with access to the social media.
“It would be unfortunate if journalism and the social media are turned into character assassination platforms and springboards to ridicule individuals and leaders.”
King Mswati’s reaction is coming after news reports that the monarch threatened men in his country to marry more women in order to compensate for the disproportionate sex distribution in the country.
The reports claimed that the monarch had issued the new policy and set it to take effect as from June 2019 in order that every of the country’s “many virgins” get a husband.
“Here is the deal. Marry at least five wives and you’re assured that the government will pay for the marriage ceremonies and buy houses for them,” he was quoted to have said.