Source: Africanews / Reuters
Women in eSwatini, formerly known a Swaziland are protesting a new law that would tax marriages with foreigners.
A bill presented to Parliament provides that the subjects of King Mswati wishing to marry a citizen of another country must now pay the Ministry of the Interior a sum of 30,000 lilangeni ($2,200).
‘Swazi women need protection from foreigners’
The text, if adopted, will formally apply to future married couples of both sexes but is primarily designed to ‘protect’ Swazi women.
“This law aims to protect Swazi women from any manipulation or abuse by their foreign partners, who marry them for the sole purpose of obtaining our nationality,” said government spokesman Percy Simelane.
Thousands of foreigners, mostly from Asia, apply each year to become Swazi citizens for business purposes. The government wants to crackdown on sham marriages aimed at cheating the system.
But by 2016, the Foreign Ministry had indicated that it would have to consider half a million naturalisation applications, mainly from Asians, out of a Swazi population of only 1.3 million.