Fairness Moyana Sunday News Correspondent
A 19-YEAR-OLD Jambezi man in Hwange District recently shocked the courts when he claimed that he was madly in love with his 13-year-old cousin he impregnated and later married.The man, who was facing a charge of rape pleaded not guilty when he appeared before Hwange regional magistrate, Mrs Dambudzo Malunga last Friday.
He was, however, found guilty and slapped with a 10-year jail term. However, four years of the sentence were conditionally suspended.
The man and the girl’s fathers are brothers.
“Your Honour, I did not rape the complainant at all, we were in love and she even consented to the sexual intercourse we had. In fact, she told me that she was 18 years old when we started dating and when she fell pregnant I took responsibility and we were living as husband and wife before her mother reported the case to the police.
“I love her and she loves me too,” pleaded the man.
Prosecutor Mr Tawanda Sigauke told the court that on an unknown date between 1 August 2013 and 30 March this year, the complainant, who cannot be named since she is a juvenile, met her cousin near her homestead.
He proposed love to her and she accepted.
It was the State case that the man would either go to the girl’s place at night or they would meet during the day in the bush where they would have sexual intercourse.
The State further told the court that the man did that several times knowing that the girl was not capable of consenting to the sexual act because of her age.
The matter came to light when the girl’s mother discovered that she had missed her menstrual periods.
She confronted her about the matter and she admitted that she was pregnant. She also told her mother that her cousin was responsible for the pregnancy.
The mother reported the matter to police leading to the man’s arrest.
Sentencing him, Mrs Malunga said the man had shown disregard for the African culture as evidenced by his sex escapades with a young relative for a long period, which resulted in her falling pregnant.