Botswana: A landmark victory between constitutional laws vs culture has kept four sisters in their home. The four women, Edith Mmusi (80) and her three sisters Bakhani Moima (83), Jane Lekoko (77), and Mercy Ntsehkisang (68), have fought for the past five years to stay in their family home.
In many African countries, the right of the firstborn male, or closest male relative, to inherit family property – is still standard practice.Women are denied the right to inherit the family estate purely because of their gender, a custom that is upheld by some traditional leaders.However, Tswana custom prescribes that the family home is inherited either by the first-born or last-born son, depending on the community.
When the sister’s father passed away, the four women came together and took care of the expenses and upkeep of their home. Meanwhile, their nephew won the home in Customary Court of Appeal and the court ordered the sisters be evicted. The sisters stood together and fought for their home. Even though, this decision has caused tension in their family, the sisters are grateful to make strides in the new century of breaking customs for what is due to them.