Wedding bells will be ringing out today in Freetown where #SierraLeone’s President, Julius Maada Bio and First Lady Fatima Bio will exchange wedding vows yet again.
Married in the UK some seven years ago in a civil ceremony before they became the country’s first family, the Catholic Church says their doctrine dictates that they come before them for the sacrament because he is of their faith.
The Church appreciates civil marriages but only recognises those administered by them, a senior member told me. Now, the president had been married before he met his current wife. That former wife claims that she and Mr Bio were married in a Catholic Church where divorce is not allowed.
The Church says it has found no evidence of such a marriage after checking the register dating back several decades. At a time of financial difficulty in the country critics say it will be a lavish ceremony costing the state a huge amount of money.
The president’s spokespeople say it will be a low key affair for their families and close friends and will be austere.