All unmarried couples in Burundi now have less than two months to wed, failure to which they will face punishment that includes jail term.
This is in line with a controversial law signed by President Pierre Nkurunziza in May 2017 which is pegged on creating a “more moral Burundian society”.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Burundi’s Minister for Human Rights Martin Nivyabandi warned that couples who will not have married by the end of 2017 will be charged in court.
“After December punishment will be carried out towards those families who will not be legally married…If they don’t respect the law some of them will be taken to court and jailed,” said Nivyabandi.
In May 2017, President Nkurunziza launched a campaign “to moralise society” where he urged Burundians to show their love for each other and their country by getting married.
Since then, the government of Burundi has been pressuring unwed couples across the country to tie the knot.
The Burundian government insists that having a legal marriage protects women and their children, especially when it comes to issues of inheritance.