Man Takes In Late Brother’s Daughter As Wife

A Nyanga man took in his orphaned niece who was 15 years old and forcibly made her his wife, resulting in the birth of four children.

Tendai Chitsatse (44) allegedly abus£d his late brother’s daughter, Chenai Chitsatse, who is now 25 years old.

The children born from the unholy union are aged nine, five, two and three months.

Both Chitsatse and his niece-cum-wife are facing charges of having s£xual intercourse within a prohibited degree of relationship as defined in Section 75(2)(1) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act), Chapter 9:23.

When The Manica Post visited Nyanga last week, the community was outraged by the incestuous relationship and called for Chitsatse’s arrest and banishment from the area.

Incest is a s£xual relationship between people classed as being too closely related to marry each other.

It is taboo and criminal in Zimbabwe.

To avoid being unmasked, Chitsatse had for the past 10 years been hoping from one place to the other with his family.

ln an interview with The Manica Post, Chitsatse said his family stayed in Nyanga, Macheke, Marondera and many rural areas, adding that they would move as soon as he suspected that someone would have gotten wind of their relationship.

He revealed that he started raping his niece when she was only 15 years old after he took her into his custody.

Her parents had already di£d.

“I would leave my wife in our bedroom and go to my niece’s room to rap£ her. I do not know what was happening, I think an evil spirit blinded and led me astray,” said Chitsatse.

At that time, they were staying in Nyanga and when Chitsatse realised that he had impregnated his niece, he left his wife and took his victim to Macheke where they started stayed together as husband and wife.

“In Macheke, my niece told a neighbour that I had raped her and that I was her uncle. A police report was made and I was arrested in 2014. The matter was dealt with at Marondera Magistrates’ Court, but I was acquitted due to lack of evidence. The court ruled that the matter should be dealt with by a traditional court. We continued staying together as husband and wife, but our life was now nomadic.

“I admit that I erred and I am asking for forgiveness,” he said.

The shocking case came to light when the woman’s half-brother, Mr Orient Mafukidze who had lost contact with Chitsatse’s victim 20 years ago tracked her down.

After locating his half-sister and also discovering that her husband was her uncle, an outraged Mr Mafukidze reported the matter to Acting Chief Saunyama’s court.

The case was heard by the traditional leader recently before he referred it to the police.

Said Mr Mafukidze: “When our mother passed away, we were left in her elder sister’s custody. However, her brothers sent us packing. I ended up with the Mafukidzes while my sister went to the Chitsatses.

“We were orphans and no one wanted us. When I turned 20, I started looking for my sister, but no one knew where she was. My aunt only knew that my sister had gone to stay with the Chitsatse family.

“For seven years, I looked everywhere for her but failed to locate her because her uncle would shift base each time he heard that I was looking for her,” narrated Mr Mafukidze.

However, this did not deter Mr Mafukidze’s search.

“I eventually heard where they had recently shifted to Nyarumburwa Village. I went there and managed to meet my sister. I was so happy to meet her and her husband, not knowing that he was her uncle.

“However, when I later talked to her alone, she told me that she did not know what to do as she was in an incestuous relationship and indicated that she desperately needed to be set free,” Mr Mafukidze wept as he narrated.

The woman said she endured the abusive relationship as she had nowhere else to go.

“At first, I did not know that my uncle was raping me. I thought I was dreaming as he would do it while I was in a deep slumber. I later realised what was happening when I fell pregnant and told a neighbour.

“I did not have anywhere else to go. My paternal grandparents did not want to take me in and I did not know my maternal family.

“Each time we moved, I would tell our new neighbours about my predicament and whenever my uncle picked it up, we would move again,” said the woman.

She begged the court to rescue her from her monstrous uncle, adding that she has tried to do so over the past decade.

Acting Chief Saunyama said Chitsatse abused his role as the young girl’s guardian and s£xually abused her.

He said Chitsatse deserves a custodial sentence.

“You were given custody of this child and turned her into your wife. You abused her, thereby abusing your authority. You should be incarcerated. You are a danger to the orphaned girl child and I will only deal with this matter after the criminal court is done with you,” he said.

The matter has since appeared before Nyanga Magistrates’ Court where the couple is facing charges of having s£xual intercourse within a prohibited degree of relationship.

Nyanga magistrate, Ms Notebulgar Muchineripi presided over the case, while Mr Nyasha Sesenyani prosecuted.

Mr Sesenyani said on an unknown date, but during the period extending from 2014 to September 9, 2023 in Nyanga, Tendai and Chenai unlawfully had a sexual relationship.

Sometime in July 2014, Tendai took custody of Chenai since her parents had di£d. During the stay, Tendai and Chenai had consensual sexual intercourse and stayed as husband and wife.

“The matter came to light when Chenai’s brother who was looking for her found her staying with Tendai. Their union had been blessed with four children.

“The matter came as a tip off from Chief Saunyama’s court, leading to the arrest of the two,” said the State.

The pair was not asked to plead and was remanded to October 5. Tendai was remanded in custody, while Chenai was remanded out of custody.

Section 75 (d) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23, states that a s£xual relationship between an uncle and his niece – where either or both of the parties know or realise that there is a real possibility that they are related to each other – shall be guilty of having s£xual intercourse within a prohibited degree of relationship and wil be liable to a fine up to or exceeding Level 14 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or both.

The Constitution further declares that it is criminal for a male person to have sexual intercourse with a female person who is related to him without her consent.

According to the Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC), at least 22 women are rap£d daily in Zimbabwe, with an average of one rape taking place every 75 minutes. Manica Post


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