Monday, October 27, 2008


The Times of Swaziland editor Martin Dlamini has been writing about how Barnabas Dlamini operates with the media.

Dlamini was illegally appointed Prime Minister by King Mswati III earlier this month (October 2008) and given the public mandate by the king to get the ‘terrorists’ and all who support them.

Dlamini was previously PM in Swaziland from 1996 to 2003 and his term in office was characterised by a reign of terror against the Swazi people and a complete disregard for the rule of law in Swaziland.

Now, it seems, Dlamini also had a high hand with journalists in the kingdom.

Martin Dlamini writing in the Times on Friday (24 October 2008) recalled that the PM would insist that he saw any report about him that was destined to go in the newspapers before it was published.

Martin Dlamini didn’t comment on this but, of course, in Swaziland, where all broadcasting is state controlled this is not unexpected, but the fact that the man assumes he can do this with the free press tells us a lot about how he will not allow any dissent in the kingdom.

In the past the PM would also inspect every report that had been published about him and complain about anything he disliked – right down to the spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. (He has my email address if he wants to comment on this blog).

Get it wrong and ‘all hell lets loose,’ according to Martin Dlamini.

‘He politely requires a correction but with firmness in his voice that has all the characteristics of a military order.’

This is bad news in Swaziland where censorship and self-censorship is rife. If the PM continues his bullying tactics against the press we will get less information about what is really going on in Swaziland than the little we do already.

Last Thursday when the PM announced members of the king’s new cabinet, he walked out immediately the list was read and refused to take questions from journalists.

The clock really is turning back in Swaziland.

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