The Pastor of Francistown-based church, Impact Bible Church, Pastor Raymond Maruza, says he wants to challenge the government on the policies in place that he regard as contributing to the breakdown of marriages in Botswana.
Speaking in an interview with the Sunday Standard last week, Maruza lambasted the government, saying that there is need to recognise that the same policies which are supposed to be protecting marriages are actually destroying the meaning of marriage, leading to escalating divorces.
“Looking at the marital policies initiated by government, such as marriage out of community, this has led to much individualism in marriage in such a way that it leads to divorces and affects the poor innocent children,” he said.
Maruza went on to point out that the values of marriage have also been neutralized by delegating power to women, adding that there is now an abuse by women clinging on gender equality, which then polarizes the relationship between women and men in the family ending up in many conflicts and divorces.
He added that marriage is a different institution even in the common and traditional perspective because the roles of men and women are well defined.
“The problem in Botswana is that women are lobbying for equal power at home and if this happens the marriage institution will continue to collapse,” he said.
He further slammed the government, saying that when the government passed the bill on the abolishment of marital powers, it led to the ever increasing rate of divorces because women claim equal power as men in the family, which then wrecks the original notion of marriage. He went further to state that although he advocates for marital powers, on the other hand he criticizes the oppression of women adding that the power should be used appropriately.
“The man must be the head of the family, not to say that he should be a dictator but be a responsible leader,” he said.
He said that from a Christian standpoint and in the traditional African societies, the man was always the leader and marriages survived the test of time. He pointed out that people need to differentiate between a leader and a boss, saying that the boss always gives instructions without consultation while a leader consults with his followers when it comes to decision making.
“I think the government of Botswana needs to retrace its steps on some of the policies, which seek to give as much power to women as men by taking into account African traditional values and the Christian point of view in terms of marriage,” he said.