Saturday, October 24, 2009


MISA has attacked Swaziland’s new anti-media government bill as unconstitutional and an attempt to muzzle the media.

The Media Commission Bill is an attempt to take Swaziland back to the dark ages, it says.

MISA (the Media Institute of Southern Africa) Swaziland Chapter says that the new bill that purports to be a defence of journalistic ethical standards is unnecessary because media houses in the kingdom have been in lengthy discussions on finding ways to introduce self-regulation.

As it introduced the new bill the government also said it would be scrapping five of the six media bills it drafted in 2007 that have been widely discussed by stakeholders.

The Media Commission Bill will set up a statutory Media Council to oversee the media in Swaziland.

MISA says this is ‘process is taking us back to the dark and oppressive regimes’ of the past and the bill is designed to ‘muzzle the media and exert undue control on matters of freedom of expression’.

MISA says media houses in Swaziland have already made it clear to the government that any statutory media council will not be acceptable.

MISA says the new bill contravenes S24 of the Swaziland Constitution on freedom of expression and contradicts the order of Parliament on self-regulation made in 1997.

To read the full response from MISA, click here.

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