The government of Eswatini has venomously denied reports that King Mswati III has ordered men in his country to take part in polygamy or face jail time.
The government has called the false accusations ‘malicious’ and ‘poisonous.’
Percy Simelane, a spokesman from the government, stated to Times Live, “His Majesty has not made any pronouncement to that effect as it has never been an issue raised” and adding that it was “not only an insult to the monarchy and the culture of eSwatini but a disgrace to journalism.”
Eswatini’s government has demanded that the Zambian Observer, the newspaper to first report the news on Monday, retract its story.
The King’s eldest daughter, Princess Sikhanyiso Dlamini – who serves as Eswatini’s Minister of ICT – also commented on and denied the story on her Instagram.
“Are you dizzy? When and where since His Majesty has not appeared anywhere this month other than at the Birthday ceremony!? And what Gadaffi money? Sitanibopha,” she said alongside a screenshot of an article.
The story from Monday spread to several online publications, leading to the denial from the government and the Royal Family.
The report claimed that the 51-year-old King, who is Africa’s last absolute monarch, had ordered that all Swazi men marry at least two wives starting in June or be put in prison. The King “has declared in… Swaziland that men will from June 2019 be required to marry at least two or more wives or be jailed if they fail to do so,” the article stated.
Supposedly, the Swazi government was going to sponsor marriages and offer homes to men who took part in polygamy.
King Mswati III currently has 14 wives and over 30 children.