The international media continues to publish false reports about His Majesty King Mswati III and, this time, blatant lies were run with regard to the monarch’s trip to India to attend the India-Africa Summit.
Zee Media, which claims to be one of India's largest News Network, published a totally fabricated story that His Majesty arrived in India with 15 of his Emakhosikati, 30 children and 100 servants.
Further, it claimed that the King booked over 200 rooms at a five-star hotel in Delhi ‘for his convoy’.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze, who is part of the King’s delegation, described such reports as the continued agenda by the international media ‘to try and taint the King’s name’.
“There is absolutely nothing like that,” Gamedze said. “The King is accompanied by one Inkhosikati – LaFogiyane – as it has always been the norm.
Whenever the King travels, he is accompanied by only one Inkhosikati and this in known by every Swazi,” the minister said.
Gamedze said it was more absurd to claim that the King was also accompanied by 30 of his children.
“Where did they get this figure? Does the King even have 30 children in the first place? Most of the King’s children are back at home. There are only two or three of the King’s children who are here as part of the delegation, one therefore wonders what the intentions of such a report are,” the minister said.
Princess Sikhanyiso is one of the King’s children that are part of the entourage.
Gamedze said also forming part of the delegation was himself, Minister of Agriculture Moses Vilakati, Minister of Economic Planning and Development Prince Hlangusemphi, and the Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Jabulile Mashwama.
“These ministers are here for specific projects that fall under their portfolios for which they are seeking funding. They are all working here,” Gamedze said.
He was further surprised at the reports that 200 rooms had been booked for the King’s delegation and wondered who could be sleeping in them because the entourage was far less than this figure.
“This is just a normal entourage that also comprises the usual security personnel that always travels with His Majesty.
These false reports need to be corrected,” added the minister.
Swazi Media Commentary, a blog run by former University of Swaziland journalism lecturer Richard Rooney, which is known for carrying negative reports about the royal family and government, took up the reports in India and published them as though they were fact.
He even went as far as calculating the amount spent on accommodating the King’s delegation in the fallacy 200 rooms.
Quoting News World India, Rooney said each room cost between 7 000 and 15 000 rupees (US$230) a night.
“If the account is correct the rooms alone would have cost up to US$46 000 a night,” Rooney wrote in his blog, which carries nothing but everything negative about Swaziland. He even insinuated that it would take most Swazi workers nearly four months to earn the cost of the King’s hotel room for one night.
The blogger even went as far as accusing the Swazi media of keeping silent about the cost of the King’s trip.
The facts about the trip are that whilst in India, His Majesty and his delegation met with several financiers and potential investors who have shown great enthusiasm in coming to set up in Swaziland.
One of these is that there is an Indian company that is keen on setting up a thermal power plant in the kingdom and also wishes to prospect for more iron ore elsewhere in the country other than Ngwenya.
The company has already been granted a prospecting licence for coal at Lubhuku.
JSW Energy Limited, which is a subsidiary of the JSW group of companies, presented their proposal to His Majesty the King and a team of four cabinet ministers and the king’s Office Chief Officer Vincent Mhlanga.
JSW group is said to be a $11 billion conglomerate that is part of the O.P. Jindal Group with strong footprints across various sectors namely, Steel, Energy, Minerals, Port & Infrastructure & Cement in multiple locations across India, US, South America and Africa with a workforce of over 38 000.
Another fact is that the king met officials of Bharat Heavy Electrical (BHEL), who offered to provide solutions to the power challenges facing the country and the region.