By Paschal Norbert
MANZINI, OCTOBER 8, 2021 (CISA) – The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) will from Wednesday, October 6 to Monday, October 11, conduct a solidarity and pastoral visit to the Catholic Diocese of Manzini, Rt Rev José Luís Ponce de León, the Bishop of Manzini, said in a letter dated October 5.
“Our diocese will host a “SACBC solidarity and pastoral visit” led by Bishop Sithembele Sipuka (Bishop of Mthatha and SACBC president). He will be coming with Fr Hugh O’Connor (SACBC Secretary-General) and Sr Phuthunywa Siyali HC (SACBC Associate Secretary-General),” said Bishop de León.
“This solidarity visit will allow them, through meetings with different stakeholders, to become more familiar with the present situation of the country,” the Bishop explained.
The prelate also said that the team from SACBC as part of the pastoral visit will present the 2019 “Pastoral Plan of the Catholic Church in Southern Africa.”
Since June 2021, Eswatini formerly Swaziland, has witnessed continued cases of protests and violence in various parts of the Kingdom. The pro-democracy protesters have been calling for constitutional reforms in Africa’s last absolute monarchy.
According to the World Bank, the country’s median age is 21 and unemployment is at more than 40%. Crowned in 1986 when he was just 18, King Mswati III has come under fire for his lavish spending while almost 60% of his subjects live in poverty.