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Whither marriage?

Yvonne Mooka

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The marital vow ‘For better and for worse’ is slowly losing meaning, considering the alarming divorce cases in Botswana. According to the High Court statistics, over 1400 divorce cases were registered last year (2017). The previous year, 1316 had been recorded.

The numbers had increased from 2015 in which 1190 were registered, which was also an increase from 1088 in 2014. According to official statistics, since 2013 to date, 7000 cases were registered for divorce and the number is expected to go up. According to Statistics Botswana data from the Department of Civil and National Registration (CNR), trends in Marriages between 2005 and 2014, the number of marriages registered was on an increase.

“Marriages increased drastically from 4, 601 in 2011 to 5, 214 in 2012 and continued to steadily increase to 5, 591 in 2014,” the statistics indicate. The trend only shows a downward spiral during the period 2009 to 2011 which incidentally was the period when the world was experiencing an economic downturn. The statistics also shows that the highest proportion of marriages was registered in Gaborone, which accounted for about 12 percent of all marriages. It was closely followed by Kweneng East, and then Ngwaketse South. Ngamiland West registered the least number of marriages constituting 0.1 percent of all marriages.

It indicates that the proportions of males and females marrying differ across different occupations. In 2014, the highest proportion (15.8 percent) of males marrying fell within the category of legislators, administrators and managers.

Marriage for females who were not employed was highest (34.6 percent). The crude marriage rate gives the number of persons marrying within a specified time period per 1, 000 population of all ages. The report shows that the crude marriage rate for Botswana is steadily increasing from 4.54 in 2011 to 5.45 marriages per 1, 000 population in 2014. The crude marriage rate was highest in 2007 and 2008 with around 6 per 1, 000 population. The report at the marriage section includes time series table of marriages that occurred from 2005 to 2014. It also includes tables on age at marriage, previous marital status, profession of both the groom and bride and the district of marriage.

What could be wrong?
Local attorney Uyapo Ndadi states that marriages fail to survive because partners do not share responsibilities. His take is that some partners are a liability to the marriage institution. “When you say, ‘I do,’ you are expected to join hands in making the marriage work, and that includes sharing responsibilities. Marriage is a journey, hence spouses should help each other,” he says.
When dealing with divorce cases, Ndadi observes that marriages break when the men do not provide for their families, saying it exposes their families to debts. He also says lack of communication contributes as it leaves spouses in suspicion or feeling inadequate. He says that poor communication in marriage leads to disorder.

“When spouses do not consult each other on business decisions, finances and the like, marriage collapses,” he says. He also says that absent parents in marriage kill the union. “When you are married and have children, you are supposed to raise them together. That is your responsibility, not for one spouse,” he says. Ndadi however states that couples usually come to him direct on adultery issues. He says spouses often complain that the other comes home late or does not sleep at home. “That’s when aggression comes in because the spouse in question does not want to be held accountable or be confronted on their whereabouts,” he says.

‘In-laws should advise but not interfere’
Pastor Michael Basimolodi of Grace at Work Ministries states that many marriages were destroyed by in-laws. His take is that in-laws can advise but not control and interfere with their children’s marriages.

“When solemnising marriages, I always address parents. They should stay away from their children’s marriage. Once they have released them into marriage, let them give them space. This however doesn’t mean they’re non-existent. It means they should respect boundaries,” he says. Ndadi however says that in-laws will only interefe in the marriage if spouses allow them to. “If you open the door for them, they will use it. If you don’t teach your family to respect your spouse, they won’t. Actually, they treat your spouse how you treat him or her,” he says.

Pastor Basimolodi also states that finances also contribute to divorce. He says that where there is no transparency, shared financial obligations and financial education, there is likely to be a collapse of marriage. He emphasised pre-marital counselling, saying without it, marriages will be doomed.Traditional leader in Kanye Rebaone Katlholo says that divorce is caused by people rushing into marriage, saying that there is a need to introspect before one gets married. He also says that men should lead their families without oppressing their wives.

“These days we’ve got passion killings even among married people. It means men lack vision,” he says. An accountant, DimphoTauetsile, says that women should continue to look after themselves even after they get married, adding that their husbands still need to find them attractive. “You used to wear stilettos before getting married, after the wedding, you are into pumps. Men pay attention. If your husband likes make-up, wear it. Go to the gym together after giving birth, don’t let your sexy-self go,” he says, also challenging men to continue loving their wives and pursuing them even in marriage. He says that marriage is like a garden and needs to be watered every now and then.

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BUSHIRI HELPED US

Yvonne Mooka

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The torment that Keloneilwe family in Goo Kodisa had been subjected to for over a year is now a thing of the past.This is thanks to the intervention of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, if what Kgosi Moalakwena Keloneilwe says is anything to go by.

He told The Midweek Sun that he went to see Prophet Shepherd Bushiri in Pretoria on April 12 and was told by Major One, as Bushiri is known, that all is well. “When I arrived at his church, I met him and showed him The Midweek Sun article about the incident and he laid hands on it and said ‘It is done.’ “He didn’t say much,” said Keloneilwe. He said that the Enlightened Christian Gathering leader also gave him anointing oil.

“He also preached that when we pray in tongues, the anointing oil changes into the Holy Spirit and that it can do anything that we ask it to do. “He warned that if we don’t use it properly, it can be dangerous. But again, the prophet taught us that anybody can perform miracles,” said the tribal leader, who is also a cousin to the family that was tormented by the evil creature.

Kgosi Keloneilwe said that he was speechless when he arrived back home to find that government through social workers had instructed that the family move to Moshupa into a Village Development Committee house. “That same Monday, they moved to Moshupa which makes sense concerning what the prophet was saying that it is done.

The children have even gone back to school,” he said. He said that he did not tell his cousins that he was going to see Bushiri and only told them when he came back. The family has been tormented by an unknown creature, believed to appear in the form of a snake, a monkey the next minute and also a dirty doll.

In a previous interview with this reporter, the headman revealed that the children had been away from school for a year because the creature has torn their school uniforms into pieces. He also said that efforts to take them to school were made difficult by the fact that the creature throws stones at any car that takes them to school. It was also said that it threw stones at the children and slapped them if they dared go to school.

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World telecoms day commemoration in Sefhare

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President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi will join the ministry of transport and communications to commemorate the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day (WTISD) in Sefhare this coming Friday.

The event will be held at Sefhare Primary School grounds starting at 0900hrs. This year the commemorations will be celebrated under the theme ‘Bridging the Standardization gap’. Bridging the Standardization gap is one of the strategic goals of the International and Communication Union’s (ITU) standardisation sector. The purpose of WTISD is help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of internet and other Information and Communication Technologies (ITCs) can bring to societies and economies as well as ways to bridge the digital divide.

The day marks the founding of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).On the 17th May 1865 when the first International telegraph Convention was signed in Paris. This year we celebrate 50th Anniversary of World Telecommunications and Information Society Day which has been celebrated annually since 1969.

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