A document has surfaced on the internet asking all men in Eritrea to marry at least two wives or face a “life sentence”.
The reason is due to a shortage of men in Eritrea caused by the May 1998 to June 2000 war between Eritrea and Ethiopia which claimed about 150,000 lives.
The memo which was posted on activists’ wall on Facebook claimed it was a decision passed by the Grand Mufti (the highest official of religious law). The unverified document which was originally posted in Arabic has been translated to English by the activists. It reads,
“Based on the law of God in polygamy, and given the circumstances in which the country is experiencing in terms of men shortage, the Eritrean department of Religious Affairs has decided on the following:
“First that every man shall marry at least two women and the man who refuses to do so shall be subjected to life imprisonment with hard labour.
“The woman who tries to prevent her husband from marrying another wife shall be punished to life imprisonment.”
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While this comes as a humorous shock to many and others have dismissed it as a hoax, it is worth remembering that Eritrea is an authoritarian state and possesses the right to pass such laws. Also with a freedom rating of 7 (the worst) by the Freedom House, it shouldn’t come as a shock.
Also, polygamy is still practiced in most African states and has only reduced due to an increase in literacy levels, education, Christianity and so on. Countries like Kenya and Gabon also have it enshrined in their constitution.
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Although this has not been officially confirmed by the Eritrean government yet, some Africans have taken to twitter to vent their opinions on this supposed order. Below are some of the most hilarious tweets on the matter we have seen, and they are guaranteed to make you roll on the floor with laughter.
1. This person who denied his country
2. How happy a particular tribe feels about the possibility of having two wives
3. This philanthropist who helped find the link to apply for visas.
4. Someone who is excited to get a visa
5. Seems like Kenyan guys love the news too
6. This one from an economy-conscious African
7. For those who are broke and still want to leave their countries for the East African country
8. Haha this one about desperate Kenyan men
9. Someone who wants to assimilate into the culture so bad
10. About Nigerian girls losing their boys to Eritreans
11. Another excited person
12. More excitement
13. Some are also finding biological connections to Eritrea
14. And finally, a relationship advice