Polygamy, the custom of being married to more than one spouse is not lawful in Rwanda, nor is the practice itself. However, polygamy has been reported to be prevalent in more rural areas, though decreasing. Some Burera residents in Northern Province describe it as a persistent custom for young ladies who are quenching the desire to live in comfortable life.
The Rwandan constitution explicitly bans all forms of non-monogamous marriages from being recognized under civil law and does not allow for customary law to recognize such unions either.
Nyiransabimana Beatha is a mother of three children in Burera district, Rusarabuye sector, Kabona Cell in Rutuku village describes polygamy as the virus in the region which mostly affect young ladies.
“Young ladies mostly contribute to the polygamous marriages. Personally, I live well with my partner but others are suffering couple break up depending on such issues. Some husbands leave their family to live with maids…, those girls are breaking our relationship to quench their thirst of getting money.” Nyiransabimana Beatha said.
The Rwandan constitution does not allow polygamy but fornication and adultery adapted instead to escape the pressure from local leaders, and thus surge gender based violence and properties’ related conflicts and crimes.
Nyirabikari Anifirda stated that her husband once left her and children for three years. Meanwhile, his husband called Majyambere begot another child.
“He left me to meet another woman, since then nothing went well as all of his concerns were immediately directed to the new married woman. Of course we had been quarreling over his customs of looting the properties I have strived for.” Anifirda said.
A man from Cyanika Sector highlighted young ladies to seduce rich men in order to lately confiscate their belongings but also weighed in on the married women who mistakenly consider gender equality as the occasion to spend many hours out.
The vice Mayor in charge of economics in Burera District, Habumuremyi Evariste admit polygamy prevalence in north region as some conservatives men still consider their father’s habit to marry up to five, six,…wives but nowadays no one is allowed to practice such illegal marriages.
“Since 2006 we do not recognize or approve second marriage, frankly speaking we cannot order break up for the already polygamous couples but since then no one is allowed to marry more than a single spouse.” He added that even the stubborn individuals who resist, they prefer chasing away the second spouse to avoid polygamy upsurge.
Only monogamous marriages are recognised within the confines of law in Rwanda. The Rwandan constitution explicitly bans all forms of polygamous marriages from being recognised under civil law and doesn’t allow for customary law to recognise such unions as well.
Some say that the reason most marriages break up or women end up hurting each other is because they are not getting all the emotional attention they ought to get in a relationship.
Contrary, if a man loves his woman enough, then they would not look for a second one since they care about the feelings of their current wife. Some think it is just a question of having the financial ability to capably sustain more than one wife and children; however Rwandan law explicitly bans polygamy.
Theogene U @Bwiza.com