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OPINION:Victor Gamedze warned me about Times of Eswatini Director Paul Loffler.

Wednesday, 3rd July, 2024

Victor Gamedze,the then Swazi Mobile Director once called me in an over thirty(30) minutes conversation expressing his frustration about how Times Director Paul Loffler’s journalists handled an article about him and his businesses.

Of course we had some fallouts with Victor Gamedze as he was sensitive to criticism but this week,I remembered his words; “Ye-Zweli loMlungu lona uyaganga nawungaya lapha kaMaspala ungamangala kodvwa kugijinyiswa tsine ngoba site emaphepha(newspapers)”.

Victor Gamedze was a close friend of the now retired Mbabane Chief Executive Officer(CEO) Gideon Mhlongo and the CEO was being attacked by the Times of eSwatini because of Loffler’s business interests.

In the conversation with Victor, we even spoke about consistent articles where the Times was busy going around the town taking pictures of useless potholes,that was not actually objective journalism but Loffler who owns multi-million properties in Mbabane,was trying to use his newspaper to portray Gideon Mhlongo as incompetent.

Even the current stand-off between Housing and Development Minister Apollo Maphalala and Mbabane Councillors over the employment of a Chief Executive Officer(CEO) Paul Loffler is controlling some Councillors behind, he doesn’t want Gciniwe Fakudze as the new CEO but he wants to impose his own CEO who will protect his business and corrupt capitalists interests.

Victor Gamedze was not highly educated but very intelligent, he was the first Liswati to establish a cellphone company.

Others might think we were enemies but a thirty(30) minutes call with Victor was worth a lecture, his main problem was sensitivity to criticism yet he had his own weaknesses that were newsworthy.

I was even shocked when he unpacked to me how decisions of the Premier League of Eswatini(PLE) impact businesses and buying power in Mbabane, he said;

“Phela ye-Zweli nawuphetse ibhola uphetse lelive nemnotfo.Mine nangifuna kufaka imali lapha e-Rits eMbabane,I can change the fixture, kudlale Mbabane Swallows and Mbabane Highlanders lapha ePrince of Wales.Natiphuma letihlwele seyiphelile ibhola,tingena latitolo nakuma restaurants tiyatsenga.This means just a fixture impacts businesses positively and brings money”.

Victor Gamedze was a soccer person but I didn’t know that,he was also understanding the intersection between media politics and business interests.

The public were made to believe that, it is King Mswati who want to apprehend the editor but, there are many other business interests that are threatened by the existence of this Swaziland News, since its establishment sales of the Times and Observer dropped.

Therefore,the King might have an interest but,it is not only him whose interests are threatened by the editor of this publication,Paul Loffler’s Times of eSwatini is collapsing, sales are dropping as the people migrate to online to access real news.

Currently,this publication is operating with limited resources but it’s just a matter of time before we have enough resources and once we are fully equipped,the Times and Observer will retrench,other captured journalists will go home.

I will not perceive King Mswati as my enemy when there are other corrupt individuals seeking to fight the Swaziland News as if it’s the King yet they are perceiving it as a threat to their business empires.

Mswati has his own interests,of course he is a dictator but, the interest in fighting this publication involves even media players and those whose interests are threatened by the articles we publish.

I consider myself very honored and privileged to be the editor of this online publication.

Indeed,If I was not in the media space, the Times could have succeeded in misleading the public with the nonsense they published about me this week, no effort made to seek my comment because the intention was to please their handlers.

No one will ever monopolize the media while some of us are still alive,liberating this country is a process and of course, we were able to see changes in the public discourse after the emergence of the independent media.

OPINION:Victor Gamedze warned me about Times of Eswatini Director Paul Loffler.
The late Victor Gamedze(pic: supplied).