The Eritrean government has dismissed as a hoax reports that the east African country had passed a law forcing men to marry more than one wife, saying even mad people would not have believed it.
THE satirical story was first posted on Crazy Monday, a Kenyan news site, which focuses on scandalous stories. It quickly spread to news outlets around Africa.
According to the story, the shortage of men in the country meant that every man had to take a second wife or face life imprisonment. The state would pay for all wedding and home costs incurred.
“Even a madman in [the Eritrean capital] Asmara would know that this story was not true,” an Eritrean official said in an interview with the BBC.
Eritrea’s information minister, Yemane Gebremeskel, said in series of tweets that the media attention on the story was appalling and showed the readiness of others to embrace a “negative narrative on Eritrea”.
An Eritrean government representative who spoke to Sahara Reporters expressed frustration that the hoax had gained the traction that it had.
The government had not yet issued an official statement about the hoax.