Swaziland now has specially ‘trained officers’ to track down people who use Facebook to criticise the Swazi Government.
They work ‘hand in hand’ with the police to try to catch the culprits.
The Times of Swaziland reported today (11 May 2011) that Nathaniel Mahluza, Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Information Communication and Technology, admitted yesterday that the government was worried by what the newspaper called ‘unsavory comments’ about the kingdom being published on the Internet.
It is not clear what specific law the Facebook users are supposed to have broken, but in Swaziland, ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, free speech is severely curtailed, even though the Swazi Constitution allows for it.
The Times reported that Mahluza was responding to Public Accounts Committee Chairperson Thuli Dladla who said the insults on the kingdom were getting worse on Facebook.
However, Hhukwini MP Mkhululi Dlamini said if the posts were made in Swaziland it was possible to catch them.
Dladla, however advised, Mahluza against revealing how they worked on these issues with the police.
Mahluza said although they had trained officers who worked hand in hand with the police to catch the culprits, it was proving very difficult to catch them.