|Feature - Incest: more disastrous than soiling of family name|
|Saturday, 21 July 2012 21:49|
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In the same month, a Domboshava man, Mr Simon Matsvara, and his biological mother Ethel Vhangare, were reported to be on the run after Chief Chinamhora (Simon Chidziva), had sent his aides to arrest them for having an incestuous relationship that culminated in two pregnancies.
In another incident, a 26-year-old man and his niece (22) from Mutonda village under Chief Chinamhora were fined three beasts after having two children in an incestuous relationship.
All these scandals were not meant to be known but somehow the closet door was not securely locked — the skeletons found a way out. These three incidents clearly show that though every family has one or two dirty little secrets that it shields from the outside world; some of the hush-hush stuff is outrightly shameful to the point of being scandalous. For there is no worse humiliation a family name can go through than being an object of scorn after some members have been exposed of being in an incestuous relationship.
Incest between an adult and a child is a form of child sexual abuse and for many years has been the most reported form of incest. Father-daughter and stepfather-stepdaughter incest is the most commonly reported form of adult-child incest, with most of the remaining involving a mother or stepmother.
The prevalence of incest between parents and their children is difficult to assess due to secrecy and privacy. The shroud of secrecy leads many to conclude that incest is underestimated in frequency.
According to Zimbabwe’s Victim Friendly Courts a large proportion of rape, which is a form of incest is perpetrated by a family member. The majority of the rape victims are below the age of 18.
Fuelled in part by the current emphasis on child abuse prevention, the reporting of incest is increasing, though at a snail pace and usually only when the incest occurred without consent. The perpetrator in the majority of reported cases is an adult, and most often the victim is a child.
Available studies indicate that about 98 percent of all incest is between sisters and brothers of about the same age. One percent is between parents and children, and the other one percent between aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews. But it is a difficult topic to research because very few people will admit practicing incest. But studies have been done, although many of them are tainted because they deal with situations where the police have been involved.
The mere discussion of the thorny issue leaves a sour taste in the mouths of many as it is seen as absurd and taboo but that does not make the fact that incest is a living reality go away. On the contrary failure to acknowledge entrenches the problem and makes the perpetrators bolder and more daring.
With the perpetrators on the increase due to the failure to fully expose the problem it is not a wonder that attempts to keep a lid on one of the most extreme sexual deviancies has failed.
Mr Thomas Sibanda, a city lawyer, drew a legal connection between homosexuality and incest. Both are illegal, immoral and downright nauseating.
“Being gay is on the same moral and legal ground as someone engaging in incest, legally and morally, there is essentially no difference between the two even if those involved are consenting adults.
“Some might say as homosexuals say that it should be legalised since for adults it is a victimless crime but I disagree. If we allow homosexuals and those who want to sleep with their brothers and sisters, then we should decriminalise bigamy, allow people to have the right to adultery and I know this will anger some, sanction bestiality,’’ said Mr Sibanda.
In Zimbabwe hardly a day goes by without reading about incest as the three stories above prove. You may think the year 2012 has seen a bizarre rise in incest cases — that is far from the truth — incest has been eating at the moral fibre of Zimbabwe for long now as the reported incidents below will prove.