King Mswati III, Swaziland’s King and Head of the Swazi Royal Family, has echoed strong sentiments against divorce. The King revealed his anti-divorce stance during an Easter meeting with local pastors at his Engabezweni Royal Residence.
The King was also quoted telling Swazi pastors to notify the public that marriage was meant to be a till death do us part union.
King Mswati III reportedly said, “In our culture, once you marry someone, there is no turning back.”
Swaziland’s Attorney-General is in the process of drafting a marriage bill that would make it easier for women to divorce. However, following the Kings’s sentiments, it is unlikely that that the bill will see the light of day.
Swaziland Solidarity Network, a civil rights organisation, which operates from South Africa said the King’s sentiments would mostly affect women if the views were to eventually become law.
“I’m just imagining women going there to demand a divorce given that the judge himself will be worried about his job after they had to contradict their boss, in this case the king,” said Lucky Lukhele of the Swaziland Solidarity Network, according to eNCA.
King Mswati III who came to power at the age of 18 in 1986 has 13 wives, and three have left him. Following cases of emotional and physical abuse, the King’s sixth wife, Angela Dlamini left him in 2012. Prior to that incident, in 2011 the King kicked out his 12th wife Nothando Dube following claims she had cheated on him. The first wife to leave was Delisa Magwaza.
This isn’t the first talk of banning of divorce in Mswati’s government. In 2013, according to ABC News, the Senate Chief of Swaziland urged Swaziland lawmakers not to divorce in order to spare the King from embarrassment.