The government of eSwatini has dismissed reports that Kingi Mswati III had ordered men to have at least two marriages or face jail.
The government termed the report as fake news and an insult to the king and the country.
King Mswati has 14 wives and more than 25 children. He is known for living a lavish life while 63 percent of the country’s population live in poverty.
The story which was first published by the Zambian Observer and picked up by several other online publications, said that Swazi men would have to marry several wives starting from June.
The story, said the government would sponsor weddings and offer houses to men who entered into polygamous marriages.
It said the king “has declared in… Swaziland that men will from June 2019 be required to marry at least two or more wives or be jailed if they fail to do so”.
According to the government spokesman Percy Simelane, the story “malicious” and “poisonous”.
“His Majesty has not made any pronouncement to that effect as it has never been an issue raised by the people,” Simelane said.
He said the story was “not only an insult to the monarchy and the culture of eSwatini but a disgrace to journalism”.
The government has demanded that the newspaper retract its story.