Eritrea says it is appalled with false claims making rounds on the social media that government in the Horn of Africa has ordered men to marry at least two wives.
The Eritrean government officials have labeled as madmen those who believed the hoax that was widely shared in Malawi.
“Even a madman in [the Eritrean capital] Asmara would know that this story was not true,” an Eritrean official told the BBC, bursting the bubble of many Malawians who were set to fly to the Horn of Africa to try their luck.
The story that has left Eritrean officials raging with anger said that to make up for the shortage of men in the country, following the civil war with Ethiopia from 1998-2000, every man must marry at least two women or face imprisonment.
First published by a satirical site in Kenya, the satire turned viral across different countries in Africa and was shared widely on the social media among people in Malawi with some believing in the hoax.
Eritrea’s Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel tweeted that he was appalled “vileness of the dark forces of disinformation and proclivity of others to readily embrace the negative narrative on Eritrea”.
The social media was awash with memes of famous people including some Head of States such as South Africa’s Jacob Zuma and Kenya’s veep William Ruto depicted as ‘heading’ to Eritrea to try their luck.
This is the second hoax to have originated from Kenya that had gone viral. Early this year, another story was published saying Tanzania’s President John Magufuli had banned miniskirts, a claim that was denied by the neighboring state.