RE: “Conduct public consultations on proposed amendment to penal code” (The New Times, October 12). The Government is doing well to protect Rwanda’s smallest unit of the state, which is family.
I am very sure that the philosophical reasoning behind the new legislation is valid due to the fact family conflicts are on the rise and one of the causes is the divorce cases we see in courts of laws and it’s mainly due to adulterous partners.
So the state is on the right track as far as efforts to contain immorality that’s growing among Rwandans are concerned. Meanwhile, consultation on the penal code provisions was done as far back as 2015.
Maybe you have high rates of divorce because there are too many marriages that have happened on false expectations involving people who should perhaps not have been married because they were unready in the first place.
But, in any case, keeping people in a dysfunctional marriage against their wishes can be a recipe for disaster that can even sometimes result into murder. Is that what you wish to advocate?
Whatever you think, marriage is a civil contract between two consenting adults, which is validated by society through the civil authorities. As in any civil contract, an aggrieved party has the right to seek remedies for its breach, including that of its dissolution and damages for the injury experienced.
Its breach should in no case be a criminal offence but rather breach of civil contract attracting the kind of consequences that breach of civil contracts usually do.
Criminal law has no business in such matters except in theocracies, which Rwanda is not.