Place: Great Lakes University for Rural Development

Date: November 07, 2019

 Number of participants: 98 among them:  77 men and   21 ladies

Materials used: Bible, family code, Notes on betrothals

Facilitators:

  1. Daniel Kilangalanga, attorney and  ALARM Congo  Peace Building coordinator,
  2. Isaac Munanga, attorney and vice Manager in ALARM Congo legal aid clinic
  3. Claver Kahasa, Magistrate and the 1st Substitute of the Prosecutor of the Republic at Goma Parquet.

Introduction

The choice of the fiance for marriage is very important in the life of both man and woman. Before marriage, both man and woman should not be based on the physical beauty, but they must have time to make a mutual observation to know if there’s compatibility in character. This special time is called a betrothal period. According God’s will, both husband and wife are created support and help each other and not being the agent of destruction of their marriage. Therefore, the two people have to know each other and for a special time in order to preparing their common life.

Due to the confusion between marriage and betrothal made by many people, even the students at universities; ALARM Congo, trough Peace Building department, organized one full day conference for the interest of students at Great lakes rural development university (ISDR/GL)

Conference objectives

  • To popularizing the law on betrothal in DR Congo.
  • To preventing the consequences of breaking the betrothal and the allowed payment for this prejudicial by the author of betrothal breaking
  • To allow the students to paying attention during the period of betrothal
  • To help students to avoiding the choice according the feelings, influence, culture and friends

Activity

During the whole time spent with students and the academic authorities, we went through the meaning of the term betrothal, its importance and the consequences that appear when it was not well prepared.

Coming back to the meaning, facilitators let students know that the word betrothal is from a Latin word “Confiare” that means “confide” and it has many definitions that we let them know:

  1. A mutual promises for the future marriage; ceremonies that accompanying the promises;
  2. The time spent between promises and the real marriage.

It can also be defined as the public and feeling engagement. You are freely in engaging one another toward the project of marriage. Betrothal is the route that guides you to reach the marriage. But it is not marriage yet.

In the Congolese law, the article 337 of the Family code defines the betrothal as a promise of marriage. The law adds of that those engaged in betrothal are not obliged necessary to contract the marriage.      

 The article 338 here from the Family code spreads betrothal in 3 areas of applying it:

  1. The promises of marriage between the man and the woman according their culture. The legislator agrees here the individual conception of the wedding inspired by the modernism.
  2. The agreement contract between the members of the two families that the wedding will be done between two persons from whom betrothals belong to the both families.

The legislator follows the conception of African marriage which he considers as the union of two families.

  1. Different steps that lead to marriage celebration in families according to the rules of culture but the wedding is not achieved yet.

Testimonies :

  1. Janson KALEGAMIRE(47 years old).

Me Jason Kalegamire is the lecture at that university, teaching the course of “CIVIL LAW”. He said on behalf of the institution: “I am very happy for this complement that brought ALARM to our students. The teachings will help many people because some people were making engagement without knowing why and how to go with as well as the consequences that results when it is broken.

  1. SHUKURU SERUVUGO (20 years old)

Shukuru Seruvugo said: “ I am thankful because of these teachings. I could not imagine the consequences that result from the broken of the betrothal broken relationship. I understand that I have to pay much attention with the choice and the time of betrothal. I will surely have time to share teachings with the youth that has no opportunity of receiving them because many of them were limited to secondary schools and the other did not get chance to be at schools but they have to marry and to be married. I could not imagine that the gifts are refunded when breaking occurs and that the authors must pay a certain amendment according the calculation made by the competent tribunal.

  1. UZIMA SALUMU(25 years old)

He said: “I was considering the betrothal as a simple friendship and I could not imagine that it has a Congolese law foundation. From this conference I realize that I have to pay attention and let all my friends know how serious it is; especially when it is broken the author of the separation damage. Many thanks to ALARM Congo team.

Recommendations:

 Professor GAKURU SEMACHUMU, rector of the university; after receiving the report of the activity from Me Janson Kalegamire, requested from ALARM other conferences related to the family code such: Inheritance, the dowry and marriage.

Daniel KILANGALANGA
ALARM Congo Peace Building Coordinator