When we first reported that King Mswati was sick, in a critical condition at Manzana Royal Hospital, Government’s Spokesperson Sabelo Dlamini tried to influence the international media trying to deny the health condition of the King.
Perhaps, it is of paramount importance to state that the health condition of the King was not a scandal because getting sick is part of human nature but the Government’s Spokesperson, due to lack of intelligence opted to deny everything trying to discredit our newspaper with a series of press statements thus turning a genuine health issue into a scandal.
When the King finally confirmed that he fell sick after testing positive to COVID-19, the press statements previously released by Sabelo Dlamini denying our stories automatically portrayed the Government Spokesperson as a person who cannot be trusted with accurate information and truthful responses. Let me remind Sabelo Dlamini the war between the truth and propaganda is not new but the truth always win. Over 2000 years ago shortly after Jesus Christ rose from the dead, the authorities who crucified him tried to 'bribe' people to discredit him by spreading propaganda that he did not rose from the death but his disciples came to steal the body but because the truth always win, we know that Jesus rose from the death.
It is for these reasons that after Government spent millions of Emalangeni hiring PR a company and t strengthening the office of the Government Spokesperson, the truth finally came out from the horses mouth that King Mswati was sick after testing positive to COVID-19.
Last week after the King confirmed testing positive and receiving COVID-19 treatment, we had a conversation with an international journalist based in the United States, Sabelo Dlamini gave our publication more credibility in the eyes of the world because the truth later came out and paraded itself.
Maybe Sabelo is not aware that the King is a regular reader of this Swaziland News, that’s why in his speech he tried to give clarity to various issues that were raised by this publication because he now understands that the person he hired to defend him lacks intelligence, it’s a just a matter of time before the King fires him.
The Government Spokesperson must focus on creating a good image for the country and the King not to fight the independent media, he is not intelligent enough to achieve that because he doesn’t understand the foundations that established this publication.
King Mswati has messed-up this country but he deserves to be treated fairly by the media, that is why we always contact the Government Spokesperson to give clarity on issues, however, Sabelo Dlamini thinks he can counter a publication with over 250 000 readers by rushing to the National Radio and the Observer. We are now seeing the King fast becoming unpopular with the people, because his PRO is very weak, getting paid while ‘snoring’.
Our role as the independent media is to demand accountability from those in power but we are always fair to the King by giving Sabelo Dlamini, his Spokesperson a platform to respond, however, Dlamini wants to see the King being hated by the people while getting paid for doing nothing.
What was the significance of hiring a Public Relations company if Sabelo Dlamini was competent? His hostility towards the independent media will not stop the dissemination of information, we don’t exist to please him here.
I once warned Mbongeni Mbingo, the then Swazi Observer Managing Editor who had elevated himself to the status of the King just because he was very close to Inkhosikati LaMbikiza and bullying independent journalists. The media is a global institution, it cannot be controlled by low minded individuals who climbed the ladder by establishing relations with King’s wives. Mbingo’s arrogance and pride of being ‘close’ to the King’s wife blinded him such that he did not see his downfall was near, he was beginning to decide who should be a journalist in this country, a hard-core ‘low minded’ propagandist trying to regulate our thinking.
The fundamental duty of a PRO among others, is to create a good image of the institution he serves but here we are seeing a ‘low minded’ individual who failed to protect the image of the King and the country trying to destroy the independent media and one wonders who told Sabelo Dlamini that we are weak and can be destroyed by a mere press statement?
In conclusion, let me briefly share how Percy Simelane, the then Director of National Radio bounced back to hospital Hill as a Government Spokesperson replacing Macanjana Motsa, only a few of us know this.
The late Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini was away on an international trip, Percy Simelane was summoned to the Palace and told by the King to resume his duties as a Government Spokesperson because Macanjana was very weak, he was told to start working immediately. When Barnabas returned, he had no alternative but to comply with the order and transfer Macanjana to the Ministry of Education. The King felt Macanjana was not skilled in defending the country and he had to act urgently, as mentioned only few of us know how Percy bounced back to Hospital Hill, it was an order from the authorities.
Now, the King has a Spokesperson who is more weaker than Macanjana that’s why he found himself doing Sabelo Dlamini’s job in his speech from the Throne defending the country and confirming stories published by this publication, instead of focusing on critical issues, it's just a matter of time.