July 19, 2024

politics of law

Politics and Law

Polygamy in DRC: Illegal, but not uncommon

4 min read

“I can get married once again — the aspiration is to get to seven wives,” explained Congolese church pastor Chirhuza Zagabe, a partner to four spouses and father of 16 small children.

In 2012, the 60-12 months-old married three females simultaneously in his church in jap Democratic Republic of Congo. He repudiated one for “bad behaviour”, but now has four aged among 26 and 48 through other marriages.

Zagabe’s situation demonstrates that polygamy persists in the huge central African place, the place advocates strongly again the practice of being married to much more than one particular human being inspite of it possessing been formally outlawed for extra than a few a long time.

All around two % of the world’s inhabitants are living in polygamous households, in accordance to the American consider tank, Pew Study Centre.

The practice is most popular in sub-Saharan Africa, in which an approximated 11 percent of the population reside in polygamous households.

The proportion in DR Congo is two per cent. Illustrations abound of Congolese males boasting about owning a “second office” that all people is mindful of — even their 1st wife or husband.

When a movie purporting to clearly show a male marrying three women at the very same time was posted on YouTube past thirty day period, the movie went viral on social media.

It advised the story of a young Congolese person who supposedly fell in like with a woman who experienced two look-alikes that were being so convincing he finished up marrying all a few.

It was untrue — but viewers seemingly thought the story.

Some responses pitied the alleged groom. “He’s going to suffer”, wrote a single reviewer. “We will have seen it all,” stated one more, though an admirer remarked: “The lad is sturdy.”

A cinema director from the eastern city of Goma disclosed he was behind the film, which he says was based mostly on a genuine story and employed actors to increase the challenge of polygamy.

Traditional culture 

Each individual Sunday, Zagabe describes and praises the merits of polygamy in the Lord’s Primitive Church, which was set up in 1983 and is a person of DR Congo’s many religious sects.

A couple of dozen of his flock eagerly hear to his preaching in Bukavu, the funds of South Kivu province, with women on 1 aspect of the central aisle and males on the other.

Zagabe’s sermon claims humanity’s tale started out with a person male and numerous females. “Instead of dwelling in adultery and debauchery, God authorised person to have a number of wives,” he informed AFP.

Three of the pastor’s wives reside with him in Bukavu and the fourth in Bujumbura in neighbouring Burundi.

But other Christians obstacle Zagabe’s interpretation of polygamy’s divinely ordained roots.

“Polygamy is a human institution that goes much back in our regular African and Congolese society. It is not a divine institution,” claimed Raymond Kongolo, a Catholic priest in Bukavu.

DR Congo’s structure and loved ones code have plainly mentioned because 1987 that polygamy is an offence, according to Joseph Yav, a lawyer and regulation professor in the southern metropolis of Lubumbashi.

“Marriage in DR Congo is monogamous,” he pressured. But polygamy “is current and practised in Congolese traditions, notwithstanding the formal lawful ban”.

‘Blessed by God’ 

Among Zagabe’s congregation was Kalungu Kalebe, who has two wives and eight small children. Alternatively than transgressing the law, the 40-year-aged believes he is “blessed by God”.

“I should abide by David, Abraham and Solomon, who married several wives,” he said, referring to Biblical prophets.

Fellow parishioner Nathanaelle, 15, reported she was “ready” to wed a guy with other wives. “That does not trouble me at all,” she additional.

Rakel, 1 of Zagabe’s wives, sees the small children of his other spouses as her personal, in addition to the a few offspring she has borne him.

An additional of Zagabe’s wives, Yaelle, said she lives in harmony with his other spouses. But she seen that neighbours who utilised to take a look at her when she was the only spouse in the family have considering the fact that stopped coming. “They fled from us,” Yaelle mentioned.

“This polygamy company is a deviation in our modern society, it’s unthinkable!” mentioned Nicolas Lubala, a 42-year-aged Catholic who accuses the Kinshasa-headquartered Primitive Church of “contributing to moral depravation”.

Mathilde, 23, was obvious that marrying a bigamous gentleman was “impossible”. “In polygamy, there are too several complications, discord concerning the wives, the little ones,” she reported.

But “if the man has cash and other wives, getting attached to him isn’t troubling”.

Resource: Africa News

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