The government of Swaziland has refuted claims that King Mswati III has banned divorce in the Kingdom. This follows widespread reports that the King announced at an Easter weekend prayer service that divorce has been banned in his country. This comes when Swaziland is preparing for the King’s 48th birthday celebrations next Monday.
King Mswati III has been in the media spotlight in the past few days.This comes after reports that he has banned divorce in Swaziland. It is an assertion that the Swazi government disputes.
Government authorities say the King was merely making a call for the nation to engage in conversation instead of resorting to divorce.
“There is no law banning divorce in Swaziland, when the King meets people, he usually talks about issues of national interest for families especially, and for the strengthening of Swazi culture, Swazi culture is one of those cultures which seek for families to be united,” says government spokesperson Sabelo Dlamini.
However the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (Tucoswa) is against what they call unnecessary spending on huge events
Meanwhile, Dlamini says the preparations of the upcoming King’s birthday celebrations are underway. He says the government has little to contribute to the budget, as the bulk of the funds come from the business fraternity.
“ In terms of budget , as it is known during King’s birthday celebrations throughout the year, the King goes through all regions of the country, what happens is that people in that region usually make donations towards the King’s birthday, I wouldn’t know now how much donations have been made, but preparations are going very well as we speak.”
However the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (Tucoswa) is against what they call unnecessary spending on huge events, such as the King’s birthday celebrations. Tucoswa’s Secretary, Mduduzi Gina, says the country’s economy is not able to cater for big celebrations and spending should be minimal.
“ It must be considerate of the state of the current economy so that where we put money it should be on those issues that are taking care for those that are unable to take care of themselves, specifically the poor and marginalised societies.”
Gina says they agree with the call made by the King regarding the issue of divorce. However, some pro-democracy groups such as the Swaziland Solidarity Network have condemned it.
– By Mweli Masilela, Siphephile Kunene and Mthobisi Mkhaliphi