Swazi King Denies Reports That He Ordered Men to Be Polygamous

Swazi Reed Festival (File Photo).

Africa’s last absolute monarch, King Mswati 111 has angrily reacted to viral reports claiming that eSwatini men faced arrest, and time in prison if they defy orders to marry more wives.

Mswati 111 has 14 wives, and several children.

ESwatini government spokesperson Percy Simelane described reports calling on men to emulate the King’s polygamous lifestyle as poisonous, and an insult to the monarchy.

“His majesty has not made any pronouncement to that effect as it has never been an issue raised by Emaswati,” Simelane said in a statement.

“We will continue to appeal for morality, responsible behaviour and professionalism among journalists and the general public with access to social media. It would be unfortunate if journalism and social media are turned into character assassination platforms and springboards to ridicule individuals and leaders,” reads the statement.

Social media went wild after reports on eSwatini men to be polygamous went viral, with memes showing from other countries stampeding to travel to the kingdom formerly known as Swaziland.