Polygamy persists in DR Congo despite ban

‘I can get married once more – the aspiration is to get to seven wives,” reported Congolese church pastor Chirhuza Zagabe, a husband to 4 spouses and father of 16 little ones.

In 2012, the 60-12 months-old married three gals at the same time in his church in japanese Democratic Republic of Congo. He repudiated a single for “bad behaviour”, but now has four aged amongst 26 and 48 as a result of other marriages.

Zagabe’s condition reveals that polygamy persists in the large central African country, where by advocates strongly back again the apply of staying married to far more than a single individual regardless of it acquiring been officially outlawed for more than 3 a long time.

All over two % of the world’s population are living in polygamous homes, according to the American consider tank, Pew Research Centre.

The practice is most common in sub-Saharan Africa, wherever an believed 11 percent of the populace dwell in polygamous households.

The proportion in DR Congo is two per cent. Illustrations abound of Congolese males boasting about having a “second office” that anyone is aware of – even their initial partner.

When a movie purporting to clearly show a person marrying three women of all ages at the exact same time was posted on YouTube past month, the video went viral on social media.

It explained to the story of a youthful Congolese gentleman who supposedly fell in really like with a female who had two appear-alikes that ended up so convincing he ended up marrying all three.

It was false – but viewers seemingly believed the story.

Some responses pitied the alleged groom. “He’s heading to suffer”, wrote a single reviewer. “We will have seen it all,” mentioned a further, when an admirer remarked: “The lad is powerful.”

A cinema director from the eastern metropolis of Goma unveiled he was guiding the movie, which he suggests was based on a correct tale and employed actors to increase the problem of polygamy.

Common lifestyle

Each individual Sunday, Zagabe explains and praises the merits of polygamy in the Lord’s Primitive Church, which was proven in 1983 and is just one of DR Congo’s lots of spiritual sects.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Christian women of all ages of the Primitive Church of the Lord sing for the duration of the Sunday company to glorify God in Bukavu, japanese DR Congo, on March 20. AFP

A several dozen of his flock eagerly hear to his preaching in Bukavu, the funds of South Kivu province, with ladies on one aspect of the central aisle and adult males on the other.

Zagabe’s sermon claims humanity’s story started off with one particular male and a number of ladies. “Instead of dwelling in adultery and debauchery, God authorised male to have various wives,” he informed AFP.

A few of the pastor’s wives dwell with him in Bukavu and the fourth in Bujumbura in neighbouring Burundi.

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

“Polygamy is a human establishment that goes far back in our classic African and Congolese culture. It’s not a divine establishment,” claimed Raymond Kongolo, a Catholic priest in Bukavu.

DR Congo’s structure and loved ones code have obviously mentioned considering the fact that 1987 that polygamy is an offence, in accordance to Joseph Yav, a attorney and legislation professor in the southern town of Lubumbashi.

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

Blessed by God

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

“I must stick to David, Abraham and Solomon, who married many wives,” he stated, referring to Biblical prophets.

Fellow parishioner Nathanaelle, 15, stated she was “ready” to wed a man with other wives. “That does not bother me at all,” she included.

Rakel, one of Zagabe’s wives, sees the young children of his other spouses as her own, in addition to the three offspring she has borne him.

A different of Zagabe’s wives, Yaelle, mentioned she lives in harmony with his other spouses. But she observed that neighbours who made use of to pay a visit to her when she was the only spouse in the family have given that stopped coming. “They fled from us,” Yaelle explained.

“This polygamy business is a deviation in our culture, it is unthinkable!” reported Nicolas Lubala, a 42-yr-aged Catholic who accuses the Kinshasa-headquartered Primitive Church of “contributing to moral depravation”.

Mathilde, 23, was very clear that marrying a bigamous guy was “impossible”. “In polygamy, there are too many troubles, discord concerning the wives, the young children,” she said.

But “if the man has revenue and other wives, finding connected to him is not troubling”.