Media and ICT

For a man who's often seen flashing a lot of flesh in his traditional monarchical garb, King Mswati III seems to have very thin skin. Even the tiniest criticism seems to upset him. His sycophantic ministers and cronies have tried everything to shield him from complaints - stuffing parliament with supporters, ensuring all chiefs are compliant, beating up protestors, muzzling the printed media and banning any independent radio stations from broadcasting - but they still can't prevent the rising tide of discontent and anti-Mswati sentiments from reaching his sensitive ears.

Most people hear little about Zambia and so assume that all is well. But it’s not.  Things are very far from well. And they’re getting worse.

And to understand this all you need to do is glance at the 2013 Risk List produced by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which groups Zambia alongside the likes of Egypt, Liberia, Syria, Russia and Vietnam. It is not an enviable set of bedfellows.

You would think – considering how often everyone is told that all Swazis love their king – that he wouldn’t mind them seeing a documentary about The King and The People. Surely it would be something that every good Swazi should see?

Suddenly it dawned on me that today is Mandela Day, and that all these people had woken up early to pay their homage to the great icon and perhaps fulfill their 67 minutes of community service. 

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