Pressure From Loyalists to Drop Newspaper Column?
A popular weekly column in the Times of Swaziland newspaper has recently been dropped. The column was written by Mfomfo Nkambule, and often included criticism of the government and the rule of King Mswati III, the last absolute monarch in Africa. The managing editor, Martin Dlamini, denies this and states that the reason for the column’s removal is that the paper is in the process of “structural adjustments of its content”, according to journalism.co.za.
Nkambule is a former Cabinet Minister and Parliamentarian. He believes that the column’s removal was not the idea of the newspaper, but that the paper itself was pressured by the government. He told Misa, an independent organization that seeks to promote the freedom of regional media, that he was not given any explanation for this action, and that he believes that the newspaper must have been threatened.
Recently, Nkambule has been under pressure from loyalists to stop writing his column. He has been removed from organizations of which he was a member, due to their loyalty to the monarchy. In 2008, Misa carried out a study that found that the monarchy was responsible for most of the censorship and harassment of the media in Swaziland.
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Tagged Media, Mswati III.