The government of Eswatini formerly Swaziland has accused Zambian Observer, a Zambian newspaper, of insulting King Mswati III in a report that has gone viral.
The report which has filled the international media, said King Mswati of Swaziland had ordered men in his country to marry more than two wives by June or face imprisonment. It added that the King gave the order due to the increasing number of single women especially virgins in the midst of few men, a situation that has left a lot of women unmarried.
The government was also said to have promised to pay for the weddings and buy a house for the new families.
But according to a statement issued by the government on Monday and signed by its spokesperson, Percy Simelane, and available on Bulawayo24.com, the government said the issue was never discussed.
Describing the report as poisonous, it blamed the Zambian Observer newspapers for the report, asking it to substantiate its claim or retract the report, stressing that it was an insult to attribute such a statement to King Mawati.
Newspeakonline however gathers that the Zambian Observer got the report from Zimbabwean medium, IHarare.
Part of 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 and it has never been an issue raised by Emaswatini.”
King Mswati himself has 15 wives and 25 children, while his father and predecessor had more than 70 wives and over 150 children.
The report has been generating a lot of buzz on social media with a number of memes and jokes about the country popping up.
See some of them culled from Twitter: