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Africa’s last absolute monarch wants to ban divorce


King Mswati III of Swaziland is Africa’s last absolute monarch. The 49-year old king who calls himself ngweyama, “the lion,” owns most of the country’s land and rules by decree, appointing all of the government’s top positions. Now he may make Swaziland the first country in Africa to outlaw divorce.

“In our culture, once you marry someone, there is no turning back,” he said speaking at an Easter ceremony earlier this month, according to a local paper, Times of Swaziland. There is no word for “divorce” in Siswati, the official language of Swaziland, the king added.

Swaziland officials have been quick to clarify that divorce has not been officially banned. The king’s comments, which are not a decree until he officially tables them, run counter to a recently submitted marriage bill by Swaziland’s attorney general that allows for divorce on certain grounds. Divorce is not permitted under current legislation but a process called Kumbuyisela ekhaya, which refers to reuniting a married woman with her family, is allowed. Full Story

#women #Africa

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