When King Mswati captured the Times of Eswatini by offering its editor Martin Dlamini a well-paying post as a Speech writer for the absolute Monarch, it took over ten(10) years for the people to realise that the newspaper that they have trusted for years was now used as an oppressive tool against them through misinformation.
Perhaps, it is important to state that once this country attains democracy, journalists like Martin Dlamini owe the Nation an apology for choosing to live a lavish lifestyle while suppressing the people through the dissemination of propaganda to protect King Mswati’s Government.
It is well documented that the Times editor is on a payroll at the King’s Office and he has been travelling with the King abroad benefiting over E100,000.00 per trip as an allowance and since he was captured, he has personally benefitted millions of taxpayers money.
It is important to state that as a journalist myself, the Tinkhundla regime once approached me, I held a meeting with the Liqoqo Chairman Paul Dlamini where he disclosed that the King wanted to meet me privately. The political strategy by the Tinkhundla system to capture the media was targeting certain journalists whom they believe commands influence in society.
But understanding the significance of my role in this country as an editor, I knew if I would allow myself to be captured that would mean I would be selling the whole Nation that relied on the Swaziland News for information while living an extravagant lifestyle, I refused to captured by an oppressive regime.
Now, for Martin Dlamini to try and portray himself as credible in the eyes of the public by publishing a story implying that he boycotted a meeting for editors organised by Princess Sikhanyiso was hypocrisy of the highest order. Editors, including myself hold meetings with powerful people to discuss national issues but a credible editor will not sell the whole Nation to the oppressor for personal gain, being captured is an individual choice.
Martin Dlamini is receiving a salary from Sikhanyiso’s father King Mswati and as such he cannot be critical against the King's daughter and their family Government, even if he can be, that would be a temporal strategy to try and mislead the public in order to restore the public trust.
It is important to state that after Martin Dlamini was captured over ten(10) years ago, the Times started publishing stories about drink and driving suspects, car accidents, witchcraft and other ‘useless’ stories that do not add value to the lives of the people.
This was strategic so that the people can debate about useless issues while those in power travels with Martin abroad looting public funds. It is hypocrisy of the highest order for Martin Dlamini to claim that he boycotted Princess Sikhanyiso meeting with editors because he believed the issues discussed particularly the death of Thabani were of public interest when in fact, the first article in his newspaper about the issue they tried to mislead the public that Thabani died in a car accident. Many citizens were killed in this country by the police but the captured media reported that some of them committed suicide in police custody. It is for these reasons police continued to kill people with impunity because they knew the Tinkhundla system propaganda machinery that include the media will calm the people through misleading information.
We have evidence in the form of emails where sources sent multi-billion fraud documents involving King Mswati to the Times editors but those stories were never published, instead, the people were fed with useless information so that they can remain ignorant regarding the damage that the King has done to this country.
The Times is trying to be critical now particularly on Sunday because they understand that online publications will publish the stories and their sales are dropping almost everyday. But the editor hasn't stopped his double standards in protecting Tinkhundla hence the Sunday misleading headline where it was alleged that pro-democracy MPs don’t want political parties.
That headline was systematically meant to create confusion and or division between the MPs and political parties so that they start fighting each other and ignore the main ‘enemy’ of the people being the Tinkhundla system.
It was for that reason Acting Prime Themba Masuku rushed to the State owned radio after that article trying to influence the people not to listen to pro-democracy MPs saying they were contradicting themselves. Unfortunately, that strategy failed as with the existence of the independent media, the people are fast becoming more politically inclined and cannot take propaganda anymore.
In my over 12 years experience as a journalist, I fully understand the intersection between the media and Tinkhundla Government in suppressing the people through misleading information.
State controlled journalists are the main suspects in delaying freedom in this country, they even misled the people saying this country would attain First World Status by 2022 knowing very well that would not happen, it was just King Mswati’s ‘wet dream’. Those speeches for the Monarch where he misled the people that they would live a better life in 2022 were written by Martin Dlamini, the Times editor in his capacity as King Mswati's Speech Writer.
Furthermore, Martin Dlamini knew very well that King Mswati used millions of taxpayers money to travel abroad and lie to the people that he was looking for investors to create jobs. The King’s delegation including Dlamini would entertain themselves in expensive Hotels with public funds while over 700 000 citizens lived in poverty. Dlamini would then come back to write propaganda articles for both the Times and Observer under a hidden name “by King’s Office Correspondent” and mislead the public by implying that the King was having sleepless nights securing investments to create jobs for the Swazis.
Even before the establishment of independent Online publications, the people would have long started questioning Government, demanding democracy if the traditional media was providing credible information, but some journalists opted to side with the oppressor.
Now, as the winds of change blow, a journalist branded with 'Smohlwana' want to portray himself as credible in the eyes of the public by claiming to have boycotted a meeting for editors organised by Princess Sikhanyiso.
In conclusion, it is important to remind Martin Dlamini and other captured journalists that we are writing for an audience that is educated, which analyses and debates issues hence there’s no room for propaganda anymore. Our role is to disseminate accurate information to empower the minds of the people so that they can actively engage those in power about issues impacting their welfare, not to side with the oppressor.
Times editor Martin Dlamini