Monday, October 29, 2012

Politician in Zimbabwe Prosecuted Under Incest Laws

In what appears to be a more pressing matter of child support, a politician in Zimbabwe is making headlines for having consanguinamorous relationships. Of course, the headlines focus on "incest." From

A ZIMBABWEAN politician Fidelis Mhashu, whose wife left for the United Kingdom in 2003 and never came back, says he ended up in an incestuous relationship with his two nieces due to loneliness.

Both cases resulted in the birth of four children.

Mr Mhashu who is also Chitungwiza North legislator and former Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities is now facing charges of engaging in incestuous relationship under Zimbabwe traditional court system in his home area of Mhondoro.
Consensual incest should not be a crime in the first place.

Mr Mhashu (70), who later dumped both women has confessed the unlawful unions, claiming that he had been driven to incest by his wife’s departure to Britain in 2003.
It would make sense that he would seek companionship, but who he found it with has nothing to do with anything else.
He said the women, one of whom has since died, had actu­ally become his wives.

Mhondoro’s Chief Chivero fined Mr Mhashu 15 head of cattle for the offences a fortnight ago. However, the former minister said he was appealing against that ruling because of the “excessive’’ fine.  The cattle are sup­posed to compensate the women’s families.
Hold on a minute while I check what year it is...
Mr Mhashu said although he had relationships with his two nieces, who were sisters, he had not forced or sexu­ally abused any of them as their family is now claiming.

“I was lonely when my wife and children left the country for the UK. I then requested for assistance from my nieces at family level, but, unfortu­nately we ended up falling in love. It is not true that I raped them.”

One of the women, who was 20 years old when she began the relation­ship with Mr Mhashu in 2008, last week accused the former minister of neglecting her and their two children.

“I have two surviving children with this man.

The other one is only seven weeks old and, unfortunately, I cannot breastfeed the child.

“We have no food and I am now relying on handouts from neighbours for survival.”
So this appears to be a child support issue. Making sure children are taken care of is more important than whether or not consenting adults had sex, right?
The brother said Mr Mhashu sought refuge at their family home in 2004 when he fled alleged political violence in Chitungwiza. At that time, he asked the late sister to be his private secretary.

“He came with nothing, but, as an uncle, we had to accommodate him. Within a few months we discovered that he was having an incestuous relation­ship with my older sister.

“We tried to talk to both of them, but all our advice fell on deaf ears. He would always plead with the elders to conceal the crime for fear of public embarrassment,” he said.

The sister, however, died in 2007.

“While my elder sister was hospitalised, he (Mhashu) requested my younger sister to assist him in caring for her. Soon after her death, we again dis­covered that he had begun a relationship with the younger one. We tried to warn him, but he would always plead with us promising to marry her, which he never did.’’

It appears what we have here, at worst, is a bitter fight over child support. I did not see in the articles about this whether these women are nieces through a brother or sister of Mhashu, or through his wife. I think the implication is that they are actual blood relatives of his. Of course I have no problem with any adults sharing sex and love, but I do have a problem with people who don't provide or make arrangements for their children.

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