King Mswati of Swaziland has denied ordering the men in his country to marry more than one wife or face imprisonment.
The story was carried by the Zambian Observer and picked up by several other online publications.
It said that Swazi men would have to marry several wives starting from June.
The story further said that the government would sponsor marriage ceremonies and offer houses to men who entered into polygamous marriages.
According to a statement issued by the government on Monday, spokesperson Percy Simelane labelled the story “malicious” and “poisonous”.
Simelane said that all other related reports are not only an insult to the monarchy and the culture of Eswatini but a disgrace to journalism.
“We will continue to appeal for morality, responsible behavior and professionalism among journalists and the general public with access to social media,” said Simelane.
The government has demanded that the newspaper retract ‘this insult’.
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