Conduct public consultations on proposed amendment to penal code

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A Member of Parliament engages residents of Gikomero Sector in Gasabo District in a public consultation exercise in July 2015. (File)

Editor,

RE:Keep morality out of law-making” (The New Times, October 10). The government’s position on adultery is commendable in the context of sustainability and sovereignty of Rwandan families.

However, the draft penal code ought to be extensively discussed publicly before amendment. There is need to engage the public.

Pacy Mahoro

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In many shariah jurisdictions, where the penalty for adultery is death by stoning, there has been no appreciable reduction in such behaviour. All such repression does is push vices deeper underground.

I lived in Khartoum before and after shariah was imposed by the then Jaafar Mohammed al-Nimeiry government in September 1983. What the Islamic purity was supposed to bring by curbing such activities as alcoholic consumption, adultery and prostitution, never materialised. All they ended up with was state repression and a resumption of civil war that eventually resulted in the secession of the country’s southern regions.

I believe and I am sure we can all agree adultery is reprehensible. But it should not be the subject of state regulation. However, as the behaviour is a breach of civil contract, civil and family law should be modified to make it easier for the spouse of the adulterer to obtain civil remedies through the courts of law.

Criminal law is just the wrong avenue to address breaches of civil and family law.

Mwene Kalinda

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Did I go back in time and wake up in 1940? What’s this? How does it help the family that one bread earner is jailed? How does it help the kids to know that their parent is locked up?

My parents had issues over adultery and it affected us all but I can tell you that this law would have made our lives more difficult. Please, unless we are in Iran or Pakistan, do away with this.

The same way alcohol prohibition never worked in the US, this will not work. It will just create an underground black market for prostitution.

Melissa