Paul Makonda, the Regional Commissioner of former Tanzania capital Dar es Salaam, caused a storm earlier in the year with controversial remarks during the funeral of billionaire Reginald Mengi.
And now, he is at it again, this time targetting married men in a bid to prevent them from preying on unsuspecting single ladies.
The state official has said that he has “heard the cries of women” in regards to them being conned by men who prey on them and confuse them with promises of marriage even though the potential of matrimony is impossible.
In an address to the media which has been shared on YouTube, Makonda is heard saying that up for consideration is a number of measures to curb men’s predatory instincts, one of which includes having all married men registered in a database.
“One of the ideas we have is that when a man marries, he should register on a database so that when a woman is given a promise to marry, she can go to the database and check whether the man is married or not,” he said.
He added that Christian, Muslim as well as customary marriages would all be registered if the measure is adopted.
Mimi na Ofisi yangu tunakuja na mikakati ya kukomesha utapeli wa ndoa. Huwezi tu ukawa unatoa tu ahadi ya kuoa wakati huna nia. Vile vile ni kosa kisheria kufanya hivyo.
— Paul Makonda (@Paul_Makonda) August 12, 2019
The tough-talking Regional Commissioner also that this is in response to the many complaints from women who claim they are tired of being seduced by men who promise to marry them but then get lost.
Makonda said, “They have caused many heartbreaks. These men cause women to leave everything and follow them in the hope they will get married and yet it is just a con.”
On the issue, Makonda said that the matter would form part of the deliberations with neighbouring countries who are members of the Southern African Development Committee (SADC). The regional bloc is currently having its annual meeting in Tanzania.
“We want to use this SADC meeting to see how other member countries are dealing with this issue of men promising marriage to women but then leaving them,” he said.
Makonda also quipped that the measure would be an extension of Tanzania law, which safeguards the rights of a woman from being induced by a promise to marry.
Tanzania, a commonwealth country adopts some law from the British in the form of what is called the common law. Under common law provisions, a promise to marry is an offence as it constitutes breaking an oral contract.
In Kenya however, promise to marry is not binding as per provisions of the Marriage Act (2014).
Prior to this, promise to marry was considered a breachable marriage offence, under the common law inherited from UK laws.
As such, however, famous cases concerning the issue such as Muinde v Muinde and Peter Kariuki V Ngaruchi fell short.
Merits of awarding a case that regards the breach of a promise to marry have proved difficult, with the offence requiring cogent proof of the promise and the fact of the complexity of enforcing the promise, seeing as marriage is voluntary as per the law.
*Quotes by Paul Makonda translated from Kiswahili