Twenty couples who were cohabiting in Kabarore Sector, Gatsibo District legalised their marriages on Monday, as part of the over 300 couples from across the district that have requested to have their union legalized.
The campaign to encourage couples to legalise their union aims at fostering cohesion in families and help them have accurate data in the civil registry for better planning for the population.
Although some families did not have any disputes, the move makes the relationship healthier and removes mistrust between the couples, according to officials.
Claver Iyamuremye, who tied the knot with his wife for more than 50 years, told The New Times: "This will strengthen an already firm relationship with my wife. We have never had any problem since we met, but we are thankful to the Government for making this happen.”
His wife, Sara Mukangeyo, declared that being officially married strengthens the relationship.”
The couple has six children.
Mukangeyo advises young couples to make civil marriage a priority, explaining that it was not hers or her husband’s choice that they cohabited for all these decades. She attributed this to being refugees.
The couple repatriated a few years back from Tanzania where they lived as refugees for decades.
Solina Nyirahabimana, Minister of State in charge of Constitutional and Legal Affairs commended the couples, saying that legalizing marriages breeds strong families.
"A family is a foundation of a community and the country in general. When families are strong, the country is strong too, that is why we take family promotion programmes like this seriously," she stated.
One of the things that strengthen families is commitment by couples, and the commitment is justified by the decision to wed legally, she added.
Civil marriages are also part of the national Gender Accountability Campaign that is ongoing in the country since August.
Since the beginning of the Gender Accountability Campaign in the last few years, more than 7,900 families legalised their unions, and more than 25,000 children were registered in civil registry.Follow DeDiosNsabimana