19 October 2016

Swaziland: King's Paper Attacks Asians

The Swazi Observer, a newspaper in effect owned by Swaziland's absolute monarch King Mswati III, is running a campaign of misinformation against Asians in the kingdom.

It has now claimed that 600,000 people in Swaziland are of Asian origin (14 October 2016). A website called countrymeters that constantly updates statistics recorded Swaziland's total population on Wednesday (19 October 2016) as 1,312,881.

That would mean that about 45 percent of the entire Swazi population were of Asian origin. In fact, every reputable source shows that 97 percent of Swazi people are African. The sources include the CIA factbook and indexmundi.

The Observer reported on 14 October 2016 that a parliamentary committee set up to investigate Asians in the kingdom was told Asian people had occupied, 'every available space in the urban areas'.

The newspaper did not name the source of this statement.

For more than a week, the Observer has been publishing stories denigrating Asian people. Most of them do not give facts to support accusations made and rarely are the accusers identified.

In this way the Observer has reported as if fact that 90 percent of shops in the kingdom are owned by Asian people (14 October 2016). It said, in Manzini, the main commercial city in Swaziland, 'almost the entire city is reportedly in the hands of the Indians' (14 October 2016).

An Asian landlord, who owns one-room flats in the outskirts of Siteki town, is alleged to have banned his tenants from bringing visitors to the flats (19 October 2016).

Asian people are rushing to acquire Swazi Nation Land to open up small businesses (15 October 2016).

Wealthy Asian businessmen are evicting Swazis in massive scales in the areas of Manzini (17 October 2016).

Asians are associating themselves with the Swazi Royal Family because it would secure their investments (17 October 2016).

On Monday (17 October 2016) the newspaper reported, 'Efforts by Her Majesty the Indlovukazi [Queen Mother] to liberate women from the grinding poverty are allegedly being frustrated by the influx of Asians into the country.' It said this was because Asian people were taking up business space 'everywhere'.

The constant trashing of Asian people runs against Swazi journalists' own code of ethics. It amounts to hate speech. The Swaziland National Association of Journalists in Article 13 of its code states, 'Hate speech. (Journalists shall avoid by all means the publication of speech that might promote hatred, spite and conflict amongst the Swazi or any other nation.)'

The National Union of Journalists (UK) goes further. In its guidelines on reporting race it states, 'The NUJ believes the methods and lies of the racists should be publicly and vigorously exposed.

'The NUJ believes that newspapers and magazines should not originate material which encourages discrimination on grounds of race or colour, as expressed in the NUJ's rule book and code of conduct.

'The NUJ believes that editors should ensure that coverage of race stories should be placed in a balanced context.'

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