Swaziland: Social media lese majeste law planned

Swaziland’s justice minister has told the country’s senate that the government is finalising a law that would make it illegal to criticise the King Mswati III on social media networks. “We will be tough on those who write bad things about the king on Twitter and Facebook,” Mgwagwa Gamedze said. Internet penetration is low in Swaziland, Africa’s last absolute monarchy, but social networks have been used to organise public demonstrations, including a student protest last Monday against funding cuts. Last week Swazi senator Thuli Msane claimed online activism was spiralling out of control and disrespecting Mswati III.

Mali: Soldiers storm broadcasters in coup

Soldiers in Mali stormed the state TV and radio station in central Bamako yesterday, announcing they had seized control of the country hours after attacking the presidential palace. In a video clip circulating online, spokesman for the National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State (CNRDR), Captian Amadou Haya Sanogo, announced an immediate curfew, the suspension of the constitution and dissolving of democratic institutions. The soldiers have claimed the government is not giving them enough arms to tackle a northern rebellion by ethnic Tuareg separatists, in a conflict that has seen 195,000 people displaced since mid-January.



Zimbabwe: Police storm offices, journalist arrested

Zimbabwean police stormed the offices of a daily newspaper, and arrested one of it’s journalists last week. Xolisani Ncube of Daily News was arrested on December 2, in connection with an article about a government minister that appeared in the paper last month. Newspaper editor, Stanely Gama handed himself over to the police after being summoned for the same investigation. Police sources said it is likely the pair will be tried for criminal defamation following the article, “Chombo brags about riches”, in which they said Ingatius Chombo had bragged about his wealth.