King of Swaziland wants to ban divorce
April 18, 2017 3 comments
The King of Africa’s smallest country has said he wants to join Vatican City and the Philippines in banning divorce.
At just 120 miles by 81 miles, Swaziland is bordered by South Africa and Mozambique. The landlocked nation is an absolute monarchy and has been ruled by Ngwenyama (‘Lion’ or King) Mswati III since 1986. He appoints MPs and rules by decree.
Following a meeting with Christian leaders over the Easter weekend, the 48 year-old monarch has announed that Swazis should no longer be able to end their marriages.
“In our culture, once you marry, there is no turning back.”
Christian pastors must inform citizens that marriages cannot be abandoned, he added. It was wrogn to break agreements he said, and marriage was a covenant “made with their maker”. Marriage could only end with the death of one partner he insisted.
Mswati III, who turns 49 tomorrow (April 19), has 15 wives and 35 children.
Thanks to the Monarch’s power in the tiny nation, it is very likely a ban will become law if legislation to that effect is officially tabled.
Lucky Lukhele of civil rights organisation the Swaziland Solidarity Network explained that while the discussions over the weekend were not an official decree “given the vast powers that the King has it may sound as [though] it is”.
He said that any judge who is asked to grant a divorce may “be worried about his job after they had to contradict their boss; in this case the King”.
Photo of the Swazi flag by Cédric Duchamp via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.
April 18, 2017