The government of Eswatini, has described as fake news reports that its leader King Mswati III has contracted Covid-19. The government in an April 13 statement confirmed said: “His Majesty is well and in good health.”
It added that: “Such fabrication perpetuated by elements intent on sowing confusion and panic is unacceptable and appalling.”
The government also warned culprits that they risked prosecution under COVID-19 regulations with such misinformation.The statement was signed by government spokesperson Sabelo Dlamini. The southern African country, formerly known as Swaziland, as at April 14 had recorded 15 cases of coronavirus with seven recoveries and zero deaths.
Press Statement: Government dispels as fake news claims that His Majesty is ill. pic.twitter.com/RbDTa3gyr4
— Eswatini Government (@EswatiniGovern1) April 13, 2020
The kingdom of Swaziland – officially Eswatini – is known to be one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies. The king who has been in charge for 34 years took over at the age 18. He officially changed the name Swaziland to Eswatini in April 2018 during 50th Independence celebrations.
He rules by decree over his people. King Mswati III presides over the annual Reed Dance ceremony during which occasion he chooses a new bride. The king currently has over a dozen wives. Mswati has over the years been at the crossroad between ruling as a traditional monarch or modernising his kingdom through multi-party democracy.
Unlike some countries, Swaziland did not change its name when it gained independence in 1968 after being a British protectorate for more than 60 years. The new name had been mooted for several years, with lawmakers considering the issue in 2015, and the king had used eSwatini in previous official speeches.
King Mswati III of Swaziland
- Full Name/Age: Mswati III, born as Prince Makhosetive / 50 years old
- Profession: Monarch
- Became king: 25 April 1986 (at the age of 18)
- Predecessor: King Sobhuza II
- Presidential reign: 34 years