Swaziland's King Mswati III. Photo: Frank Franklin II / AP

Johannesburg - A member of Parliament in Swaziland, Mjuluko Dlamini, this week told the House of Assembly that people in the kingdom were scared to communicate on their cellphones because they feared the government was listening to their conversations.

The Times of Swaziland, the only independent daily newspaper in the kingdom, reported that the MP's remarks on Monday came amid rumours the state was now able to listen in on cellphone conversations. 

Dlamini called on the Minister of Information, Communication and Technology Dumisani Ndlangamandla to respond to the matter in Parliament. His motion was seconded by Mbabane West MP Johane Shongwe, who also said people were now scared to talk freely.

Posts on social media claimed the Swazi government was now able "to spy" on sites such as Facebook. 

Last week the kingdom, where King Mswati III rules as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, introduced a new law compelling users to register their cellphones and other electronic gadgets.

African News Agency/ANA