Why We Published The FNB Story

Following last week’s FNB story detailing what we considered to be acts of poor ethical judgement, there have been numerous concerns and comments on both our decision and motives of running the story. Equally, if not on an even greater scale, there also have been serious questions on the judgement(s) of some of the role players. It is our considered view that all concerns are not unwarranted or without justification.

As a consequence of some concerns, at least one case of civil litigation has been instituted against ‘The Bridge’ and those believed to be the proprietors of the publication. The fact that we have been inundated with calls and testimonies of different women in big corporations in the country can only fortify an uncomfortable dichotomy, especially on an issue already made complex by its moral nature given our inherent subjectivities. To publish or not to, was always going to be a difficult decision, one that we wish we never had to make in the first place. And it’s not us who manufactured that glaring need.

Now, with hindsight and all, do we regret having made the decision to publish? No, we don’t. In fact, given the hitherto novelty of exposure of a conduct of such questionable and injurious proportions, we would take that difficult decision if such a scenario were to play out gain. The numerous ‘invitations to investigate potential scoops’ at entities such as the Swaziland Revenue Authority, Ubombo Sugar Limited, SNTC convince us, in hindsight, that we were not reckless.

As a disclaimer, this is not to suggest that the potential perpetrators of the conduct in question at the above entities are the head-honchos. Not necessarily. Neither is it to suggest that there is something prima facie at all. There is a common thread though, and it is that in all the overviews of the invitations, as was the case with the FNB story, all the aggrieved are women and the alleged perpetrators are males in powerful positions.

Also too common a thread is the realization that there’s at least one woman claiming they’ve had to quit their jobs because of an unbearable consequence of a relationship (with boss) gone sour, or because they have been undermined and subjugated by other women with ‘delegated’ powers from boss boyfriend.

Clearly, these are not instances and cases of your normal philandering, or a stud harvesting the fruits of whatever his prowess or attribute. To the contrary, there’s an apparent exploitation of power dynamics ably aided by the patriarchal nature and possible abuse of power and authority especially when either a promise of hiring, promotion, salary and better working conditions review is used as nectar- or in whatever form during any stage of the ‘courtship’. Needles to say, many women have fallen victim of this sugar coated career stock block. And this should be a serious cause for concern.

Far from being arrogant, we are confident that we have broken no law or offended any moral value indispensable for societal tranquillity. There was, and still is nothing personal. Of course there’ll always be identities in every scandal of national interest, and that is because we would be dealing with or dissecting a real phenomenon other than an abstract or hypothesis.

As the political winds of change continue to blow across the country, we must refuse to be blinded by some specks of dust and other properties in the form of age old tendencies which would have benefited some and subjugated others. It’s going to be a wholesome, difficult but very necessary detoxing exercise, difficulties notwithstanding. And we are willing and available to play our small part.

The fact that this is not something peculiar to Swazi men only should not incentivise any tolerance. We won’t get it right overnight, but e eventually will be fine.

After resisting for the longest time, much loved New York Governor; Andrew Cuomo finally threw in the towel and resigned to allow investigations of sexual abuse against him to proceed unhampered.

It all started in December 2020 when Lindsey Boylan published tweets accusing him of sexual harassment. It came to pass that eleven women have since came forward to accuse the powerful man.

There’s no prize for guessing what would have happened had this played out in eSwatini: Cuomo would have approached the High Court safe and emboldened in the knowledge that the court would order Boylan to take down her tweets.

Courts are, after all, mirrors of their societies. We must shape our society to mirror the best of our collective cultures and practices.

Managing Editor.