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A LUPANE man who had a sexual relationship with his maternal cousin, with the pair having sex in a church building at one point, has been sentenced to an effective eight months in jail for incest after rape charges were withdrawn.
Preshet Mpala (33) of Chimwara Village 3, Gwayi area under Chief Mabhikwa, was initially charged with three counts of rape when he appeared before Hwange resident magistrate, Mr Collet Ncube on Friday.
The woman was 18 when the offences were committed in 2018, but trial only started recently.
Mpala pleaded not guilty to the three rape counts before the charges were altered to incest.
Prosecuting Mr Vumizulu Mangena said the two lived in the same village, but at different homesteads.
Mpala’s wife was hospitalised with an undisclosed illness and his cousin would assist him with household chores.
In February 2018, the two went to the fields to plough.
On their way from the fields the cousin denied a request for sex, but Mpala dragged her into a nearby church building and had sex with her and then gave her a packet of biscuits, said Mr Mangena.
The two had sex again two days later while ploughing in the fields.
Mpala stopped an ox-span and dragged his cousin into the bush where he had sex with her once, before returning to the span and continuing with their work.
On both occasions the woman went home and told nobody what had happened.
Three days later, Mpala arrived at the cousin’s house and found her alone and the two had sex before he went back to his homestead.
The matter came to light after the woman confided in a relative who spilled the beans.
Sexual relations between first and second cousins is an offence for most Zimbabweans, although such relatives can marry if they belong to a community that tolerates this degree of relationship.