As the media, one of the most critical issues in this country that requires our special attention is the failure by government to pay suppliers, forcing various companies to shut-down.
This is killing the appetite for entrepreneurs to start venturing into businesses that would bring better solutions to our challenges and further create job opportunities.
It is a shame that while businesses owned by Emaswati are struggling as a result of government’s failure to pay for services rendered, Mbongeni Mbingo’s Editors Forum whose members should be the voice of these citizens, continue to share a table with the Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini and Cabinet to discuss useless issues while enjoying coffee and tea during breakfast meetings where useless issues are discussed.
It worth mentioning that while real journalists around the world are causing a headache to their governments demanding accountability, journalism in this country has been reduced into praise singing. Editors are now the defenders of corrupt and powerful individuals instead of being the voice of the people while holding government accountable.
The conduct of Cabinet particularly Finance Minister Neal Rijkernberg who has been misleading the Nation that suppliers would be paid suggests that as the media, we must now take a position, put pressure on government until proof of payments of companies owed by government are produced.
But then, the only problem is that the media that should be acting as the voice of these oppressed citizens is captured and no longer fulfilling its Constitutional mandate except providing government with more mileage to mislead the Swazi nation and the international community. The media capture in eSwatini does not only undermines the Constitutional right to information but also promotes social injustice where corrupt syndicates uses their power and political influence to suppress the powerless without fear of being exposed by the media. As the situation stands, the failure by government to pay suppliers resulted to job losses while on the other hand, government is failing to fulfil social obligations like the payment of social grants, the media should advocate for justice on behalf of the people.
It is of paramount importance to note that one of the basic roles of the media is to disseminate information while holding those in power accountable, however, these duties act as deterrence against impropriety not only in the public administration but across all sectors of our society. Now, the media capture in this country has created an environment where the corrupt are given huge mileage by the media to push their selfish agendas thus creating an unequal society.
It is a sad reality that in this country, we have widows and other poor citizens who are deprived their right to land, but their voices are crying and slowly fading away in the wilderness merely because the media is now the voice of the regime. King Mswati recently bought multi-million cars and now government is struggling to fulfil social obligations, the media is not demanding answers regarding the shortage of the Personal Protective Clothing (PPEs) because it was long captured, instead, it is informing the Nation regarding the number of those who tested positive to COVID-19 and the death toll, what shame!.
Furthermore, this country is now in serious crisis, but the captured media is striving to portray a picture suggesting that the situation is normal, however, as the economic crisis intensify, media companies will be forced to retrench, these very same journalists who are silent about critical issues going on in this country will be victims of the same issues they are incubating now, it’s just a matter of time.
Editors Forum Chairman Mbongeni Mbingo