King of Swaziland, King Mswati III has denied ordering men in his country to marry at least wives or face a jail term.
Media reports had quoted the King saying that men should take more wives so as to reduce the number of unmarried women in the country. He also reportedly assured the men that government would pay for the marriage ceremonies and buy houses for them.
The reports claimed that the monarch had set June 2019 for the commencement of the new policy and defaulters risks jail term.
But in a swift response, the Swaziland government in a press release signed by Percy Simelane, its spokesperson, on Monday, May 13 said such claims are not only an “insult” but a “disgrace to journalism.”
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.”