Rwanda‘s parliament has passed a law scrapping over 1,000 laws considered colonial and outdated.
For months the country debated and discussed plans to scrap all the country’s colonial-era laws.
Local media New Times reported that some of these laws were put in place by colonial countries like German (1900-1916), and Belgium between 1916-1962.
Some of the laws abolished include a decree of July 22, 1930, that prohibited transfer on credit or for free of all alcoholic beverages.
One of the laws also made it possible for massive land grab by the Catholic Church. That decree was passed on January 24, 1943.
Rwanda’s State Minister for Constitutional and Legal affairs, Evode Uwizeyimana told lawmakers this year that it was a ‘shame’ that Rwanda was being guided by colonial laws enacted in the interests of colonizers.
“There are no legal loopholes that can emerge as a result of repealing them. These are not laws that we should be proud of keeping. We don’t see a problem in repealing them,” he said.
Rwanda’s Minister of Justice, Johnston Busingye, told The New Times Rwandans can now be fully governed by the laws that they have made themselves.
“Colonial laws were made for the colonial metropole, not for colonies. They were brought to the colonies to be the legal framework to service the colonial state. This step finally means that we are and will be governed by laws made by us for us,” he is quoted as saying.
All the laws being abolished were enacted between 1885 and 1962 when Rwanda obtained independence from Belgium.