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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Incest Charges Against Zambian Woman Dropped

Sylvia Mweetwa reports at times.co.zm that an adult woman in Zambia charged with "incest" has been freed. Once again, reports are too skimpy to give a clear picture of what happened.
A TWENTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD woman of Kapiri Mposhi who is alleged to have been in a secret sexual affair with her 49-year-old father for nine years and has been appearing in court for charges of incest has walked to freedom.
That would have made her 16 when the "sexual affair" started. According to this and this, 16 is the age of consent in Zambia.
This was after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) issued instructions to enter a nolle prosequi into the matter. The woman could be turned into a State witness.
So, does that imply that they now believe it wasn't consensual?
This is in a case in which Gift Mweemba was facing a charge of incest by a female.
Particulars of the offence were that between January 1, 2004 and March 1, 2013, Gift permitted Paid Mweemba, knowing that he was her biological father, to have unlawful carnal knowledge of her contrary to Section 161 (1) of the Laws of Zambia.
It would have been perfectly legal for her to have sex with a complete stranger who was a 40 or 50-year-old, or a neighbor who has been like a father to her since she was born, but not the man she is alleged to have had a "sexual affair" with.
Meanwhile, in the case of Mweemba who is facing one count of incest contrary to Section 159 (1) of the Penal Code Cap 87 as amended by Act No. 15 of 2005 of the Laws of Zambia, the DPP allowed the commencement of trial.

Particulars of the offence are that Mweemba between January 1, 2004 and March 1, 2013, knowing that Gift was his biological daughter, had unlawful carnal knowledge of her.
Interesting that they are different parts of the law, but essentially the same charge: consensual incest. If this wasn't consensual he should be charged with rape. If it was consensual it shouldn't be a criminal matter. No information on whether or not he raised her or not, or how they were turned over for prosecution. If he raised her and groomed her for this, that would be quite the story as she was held under his sway all the way through age 25 and it shouldn't be called a "sexual affair" but rather ongoing sexual assault. But if this is different matter, where she actually did freely consent (perhaps not being raised by him at all), the story is that they are wasting resources pursuing his prosecution. The article then goes on to apparently less important criminal matters... like homicide.
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