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Rwanda:Surge In Divorce Cases

June 16, 2020

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

More families in Rwanda are separating year on year according to the new Rwanda Vital Statistics Report of  2019.

A recently released report by National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda shows that 8,941 divorces cases were decided by courts in 2019, up from 1311 that were recorded  in 2018 as it was reported by Supreme court that year.

It is an alarming news as experts warn more divorce cases in the coming years due to coronavirus impacts and from children who were born from separated families.

Concerning the duration of marital relationship, report  showed that most divorces occurred within 15 years of marriages with a share of 80%.  The  most frequent causes of divorce were found to be desertion for 12 consecutive months, excess abuse or serious insults by one toward another, adultery among others.

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Gender and Family promotion in Rwanda, Ingabire Assumpta told local media that the rise of cases could be linked to loopholes in preparation of brides and bridegrooms before marriage.

“We have to revisit the way we prepare them before civil marriage so that we give them a long time of preparation. If need be, marriage may be cancelled when they find that they are not at the same line”, said Ingabire.

Rutayisire Fidele, director of Rwanda Men’s Resource Center (RWAMREC), a local civil society,  said that divorce cases may soar up in the future.

“These divorcing families have children, more chances are that those children will divorce too. In future, cases of divorce could increase because those children will be taking divorce as a normal thing”, he says

Rutayisire blames the increase of divorce cases on bad interpretation of gender law, misunderstanding among families and more people who came to know have their rights.

Kigali City comes first with the highest number of divorces which stands at 2400, 1989 cases recorded in Southern Province, 1820 in Western province, 1482 in the East and 1250 cases in Northern Province.

In 2017, Rwanda recorded 69 divorce cases, in 2018 they jumped to 1311 cases according to Supreme Court data.

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