By Elias Hakizimana.
The coalition of Rwanda’s Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) convened on Saturday to request publicly that the extreme brutality against wives in Rwanda should stop.
Civil Societies said the divorce law enforcement is still an issue where this is not easy for both sides of partners.
Their concern was expressed in a statement they made and read to the local media by Rwanda Religious Leaders forum, Benimpuhwe a women’s organization, Benishyaka Association, Rwanda Development Organization, Seruka, Rwanda Climate Change and Development Network.
Their grievance follows the case of a husband called Robert Kubwimana who hacked his wife called Asterie Kubwimana with a machete in Rusoro sector, Nyagahinga Cell of Gasabo District last week.
The criminal is yet to be found and arrested while the victim still alive and hospitalised.
The civil societies call for urgent tangible measures by the Government of Rwanda to put an end on such cruelty.
Verdiane Nyiramana, the Executive Secretary of Benimpuhwe Association said the first action by civil societies is to raise a voice and prevent such violence from occurring. However, she said this requires everyone’s alertness.
“We are calling for urgent and strengthened measures by government, stakeholders, civil societies, religious organizations and residents so as to curb the killing being committed by spouses which we have seen trending these days,” she said.
Easing divorce law enforcement
The women’s rights activists observed that a need for easing the enforcement of law on divorce between spouses is a necessity to curb the increase of conflicts that result in killings.
They advised women to value their lives instead of keeping in their memories that divorcing is a bad culture which should stop.
“Instead of dying, you can divorce and seek other ways of living and looking after children. There is need of clear mechanisms of monitoring such conflicts and enforce divorce law before the conflicts escalate and result into murdering or stabbing a spouse,” Nyiramana noted.
Betty Gahima, the Executive Secretary of Benishyaka said that civil societies should continue advocacy through awareness campaign and conducting research about root causes of the conflicts and killing cases as part of prevention measures.
“Rwandan should know that if you pass many days, years with conflicts in the family you should separate instead of killing your spouse and leave orphans in lonely state. Women think divorce is a mistake but it is not if you have to save your life,” said Gahima.
Faustin Vuningoma, coordinator of Rwanda Climate Change and Development network (RCCDN) added that mechanisms are needed to make sure conflicts in families are detected at early stage for handling before they worsen into killing crimes.
“We have visited the woman and is recovering and she survived not because of husband’s pity. Such atrocity should stop. we call for efforts to track and arrest the killers and taken to court for judgment and be given serious punishment,” he said.
Alexis Nkurunziza, Executive Director of Rwanda Religious Forum said the issue need joint efforts to be curbed.
“Because domestic violence is persisting and reaching the climax, decimating a number of Rwandans, we all together need to increase efforts to put an end to such atrocities,” said Nkurunziza.
“Faith-based organizations should take a lead in tackling this beyond the sanctification of religious marriage. When they do not follow up on social relationship and spouses’ lives, such cruelty can escalate, reason why there is a need for special mobilization and measures so that we can stop this,” Nkurunziza added.
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