King Mswati III has issued a decree banning divorce among citizens of Swaziland, during his Easter meeting with local pastors.
King Mswati, who rules as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, instructed religious leaders to inform citizens that there will be no pulling out from marriage, once it takes place. ‘In our culture, once you marry someone, there is no turning back,’ he said, The Times Swaziland reported.
The King’s ruling comes after the office of the Attorney General drafted the Marriage Bill of 2017, which carries five grounds of divorce and if passed to law will replace the Marriage Act of 1964.
The newspaper quoted King Mswati comparing marriage to a covenant with God, pointing out that it was wrong for people to break agreements made with the Lord.
The King was crowned in 1986 at the age of 18, succeeding his long-serving father King Sobhuza II, who died aged 82.
As part of Swazi custom, Mswati is permitted to choose a new bride every year. The King usually picks his brides from an annual dance. This is a well-known Swaziland traditional dance for these young ladies to display their love for the King and their country. Women travel from all over the country to participate in this 8-day event.