, MBABANE, Jun 14 – Kissing in one town in the kingdom of Swaziland could now land you in a bit of trouble.
Love birds locked in spasms of romance in the town of Siteki have been forewarned: their amorous embrace may cost them a $12 fine.
“Public kissing that is to the extreme and causes other people to be uneasy will be covered by our by-laws. It will be regarded to be public indecency,” town clerk Mzwandile Ndzinisa told AFP.
A peck on a baby’s cheek doesn’t fall in the punitive category, he added.
Swaziland, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarchy, already has tough public order laws.
Cities forbid indecencies like urinating in public, street vending and littering.
But Siteki goes a step further.
“What is done in private should be done in private, not in public. The law addresses public issues in public places,” said town treasurer Sthembile Simelane.
Siteki resident Thembi Mdlovu agreed that smooching in the open is unacceptable.
“Kissing in public is not practised in our culture. I think we should respect our culture,” she said.
“I have my teenage boy, but I can’t kiss him in public. I can only hug him, because I’m not used to kissing in public,” she added.