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Divorced woman obtains her share of land from her husband and parents

This woman in this story (nicknamed Alice) separated from her husband in 1997 due to suffering a very severe injury caused by her husband. Alice ran away and attempted to return to her parents. However, her mother refused to let her come home as a consequence of what Alice’s husband had done.

One day Alice met her former primary school teacher who had become a judge, and told him the whole story. He advised Alice that, if she went to court and reported the case, her mother would be obliged to give her a share of her inheritance (a plot of land), because as a girl she was entitled to inherit from her parents as per Rwandan law on succession and matrimony. Alice obtained her inheritance.

In 2007, Alice went to court to officially file for divorce. The court granted the divorce
and divided the property between her and the husband. Afterwards, Alice’s younger brother tried to corrupt the local authorities during the registration process, and as a consequence, all the property that was given to Alice by her family became registered to her brother. Additionally, the property she was awarded after the divorce was again registered to her former husband due to corrupt leaders.

Later, Alice went to Haguruka and explained what had happened. Haguruka’s lawyer called the executive of the sector, and asked him about the case. The executive explained that the case was known but he didn’t understand it well. When Alice went to a meeting at the sector office, her family accused her of abandoning her children, and an order was given to divide the whole property between her brother, her ex- husband and her children.

Afterwards the local authorities reported her to the police station accusing her of harassing and violating her children’s rights. She was convicted to 18 years in prison and they were hiding her dossier/file. Haguruka supported Alice and provided her with a lawyer to represent her in court free of charge. Alice was able to go free and recover all her property. The corrupt authorities were not happy to see justice prevail, but Alice is happy to have recovered her property and to have received the support of Haguruka.


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