It is very disturbing to note that some Cabinet Ministers are casting an ugly look on Commerce Minister Mancoba Khumalo for receiving positive coverage on Swaziland News, they claim he might have links with the editor.
Perhaps, let me give a lecture to Cabinet how an independent media house operates.
A newspaper must be balanced with both positive and critical stories in line with the constitutional role of the media to inform the public.
About a month ago, we exposed Commerce Minister and Finance Minister Neal Rijikernberg after they opposed a political dialogue during a Parliament caucus.
Then a few days later, the Commerce Minister was hard at work and we gave him positive coverage without any influence.
Even Finance Minister Neal Rijikernberg can receive positive coverage both at political or business level, he must be on the ground working.
I remember this publication reporting that Montigny Investments contributed and collaborated with Micro-Projects in building the Zondwako Bridge, that was a positive and social development story.
We further reported that Montigny was exploiting workers, that’s our role as journalists, we inform and disseminate both positive and critical news.
As a Minister or a public figure, if you positively attract the attention of a media house that is not controlled by government then you must know, there is something good about your contribution because the independent press is not easily attracted by government activities.
It’s true, there might be some scandals about Commerce Minister Senator Mancoba Khumalo but in politics, if you are hard at work, some of your good work overshadows your weaknesses.
I take serious offense as an independent journalist when politicians start linking me with other politicians, they want me to expose Mancoba just to prove that I have no links with him.
Unfortunately, I don’t work like that, I don’t expose politicians just to prove a point, but in this publication, we consider the evidence and the matter must be of public interest.
I did the same when some public figures and State journalists were pressurizing me to expose King’s Financial Advisor Sthofeni Ginindza.
I refused to expose Sthofeni Ginindza without evidence just for the sake of proving a point, I don’t want to be controlled or told what to publish or not to publish.
It is therefore, important to state that Commerce Minister Mancoba Khumalo will continue receiving positive coverage when conducting his duties.
Again, once we receive information about his scandals, we will expose him upon receiving sufficient evidence not just hearsay.
Recently, I was flooded with calls from high profile people who blasted me as to why I was giving Minister Mancoba positive coverage, they claim he is corrupt and at loggerheads with his Principal Secretary.
As the independent media, we don’t expose public figures based on opinions and how others perceive them, we have an obligation to investigate and substantiate allegations.
The problem in this country is that almost everything is about connections, I hardly speak to Minister Mancoba but our journalists normally follow the projects facilitated by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade.
I always encourage my journalists that you can even win an international award just for writing a positive story that impacts the lives of the people.
The people of Zondwako were assisted by Micro-Project and Montigny after we exposed their plight, this means an article changed the lives of the people in that community.
That we are critical against this oppressive regime doesn’t mean everything about eSwatini Government should be painted black, there are innovative projects that cannot be ignored by a sane independent journalist.
It is important to state that the fight for democracy does not mean everything about this current Government would be dismantled, other politicians and professionals will remain in power based on their skills,qualifications and popular vote if the people want them.
As a result, the media plays a critical role in ensuring that projects supported by the current Government, that would be useful even in the new democratic Swaziland receive positive coverage and support.
Positive media coverage is part of journalism, politicians don’t need to establish connections with the editor to receive coverage from the Swaziland News.
Politicians who attend important events, work and deliver statements of public interest, will always receive media coverage.
But, the discretion to decide what needs to be published is vested upon the editor.
Commerce Minister Mancoba Khumalo.