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Journalists are not politicians, must stay away from political negotiations.

Monday, 25th October, 2021

The decision by SADC Envoy Jeff Radebe to kick out journalists of the Times and Observer from the meeting between pro-democracy groups and the Troika delegation at the Royal Villas was justified.

Perhaps, it is important to remind and warn journalists, even those who are captured that we must know where to draw the line on such issues, for we cannot be political referees and players at the same. 

It is very disturbing to learn that Times journalists Welcome Dlamini, Mfankhona Nkambule and Simon Shabangu from Observer attempted to be part of the meeting between political parties, the civil society and the SADC Special Envoys.

This country is in a mess today because of journalists who developed political ambitions to become Ministers, Spokespersons for Government including various Ministries while others wanted to join the security forces.

Well, journalists are free to join politics but they must first drop their pen, leave the media to pursue their political agendas.

The media is a very powerful and important arm that influences even political decisions, there’s no reason for an editor or a journalist to develop ambitions of joining politics because any vibrant editor automatically becomes a decision influencer in the democratic discourse.

But in the event that journalist develops political ambitions, he or she must declare and then leave the newsroom to join politics.

We don’t want opportunistic journalists who scandalize democracy and paint it black in eyes of the people to legitimize dictatorship through their writings, only to come back and pretend to be pro-democracy stakeholders.

The major problem in this country is the fact that we have journalists who surrendered the power and independence of the media to Mswati and now they want to be become relevant in the coming democratic government by sneaking into meetings for politicians.

An independent and credible journalist submits and influences decisions through the power of the pen and allow politicians to do their job.

Being a political journalist does not mean you are a politician, politics must be discussed by political leaders and journalists must do their job and report freely on issues of public interest.

It was a good decision to kick out those journalists from that meeting, we have our newsrooms and we can use those platforms to address even the Secretary General of the United Nations through writing and change eSwatini into a better country.

As journalists, let’s play our part and allow politicians to do their job without any interference or alleged spying from reporters branded with Smohlwana.

Media practitioners who want to join politics must leave the newsrooms because they might use the power of the press to push their personal political agendas.

Journalists are not politicians, must stay away from political negotiations.
SADC Special Envoys with pro-democracy groups.