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Eritrean minister hits out at hoax on polygamy order

By HILARY KIMUYU January 28th, 2016 1 min read

Eritrean Minister of Information Mr Yemane Meskel has strongly criticised a media hoax that claimed the country had ordered all men to marry at least two wives.

“Media frenzy to parrot this ludicrous, fabricated and trite story of the Mufti’s presumed religious decree on mandatory polygamy is appalling,” Meskel wrote on his official Twitter account.

The story was first published on a Somali website, Diplomat News Network, and later picked by a Kenyan newspaper and other news outlets in Nigeria and South Africa.

According to the article, the order on mandatory polygamy was made due to a shortage of men in the country in the wake of a civil war between 1998-2000.

In the article, the order reportedly gave an assurance that all the wedding and housing expenses would be paid by the state. The punishment for not embracing polygamy would be life imprisonment with hard labour, it added.

The Eritrean minister said; “The story illustrates vileness of the dark forces of disinformation and proclivity of others to readily embrace the negative narrative on Eritrea.”

Kenyans on social media platforms went on the overdrive when the hoax first hit the internet. The Eritrea hashtag trended, as memes portraying hordes of Kenyan men relocating to Eritrea emerged.