It is with great sadness that I read that Mfomfo Nkhambule, the political dissent in Swaziland, has thrown in the towel.
He has announced that he will stop writing about King Mswati III and will apologise to him for what Nkhambule calls his ‘grossly disrespectful writing and comments about him and the country’.
Nkhambule became a symbol of the struggle for democracy in Swaziland when he was forced to stop writing for the Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper.
Today, the world reads in the Swazi Observer, the newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, that a ‘repentant ‘ Nkhambule, ‘has apologised to the authorities at Gundvwini Umphakatsi (the Chief’s Kraal) where he presented a fattened ox to Prince Logcogco. He insists that he is not selling out, or looking for favours from BakaNgwane, but is driven by a strong desire to be at peace with himself.’
A report written by Observer editor-in-chief Musa Ndlangamandla, who earlier this week (1 March 2010) told his readers, ‘our collective stand as a newspaper is that the integrity of Swaziland as a democratic State and His Majesty King Mswati III as the legitimate leader of the Swazi nation, must never be compromised in any way.’ quotes Nkhambule saying, ‘I have realised the folly of my ways and the fact that what I was writing about His Majesty was hurting and showed lack of respect for my King.’
Nkhambule told the Observer that he will continue to write his online blog, although personally I can’t see the point as it clearly won’t be worth reading.