Zimbabwe: 'You Are a Candidate for the Jungle,' Magistrate Tells Incestuous Chihuri

10 January 2019

James Chihuri (51) of Seke was yesterday sentenced to four years in prison for incest after bedding and impregnating his 18 year old niece.

Chihuri was initially charged with rape but during trial, he insisted that the complainant pushed him through hugging him, sitting on his lap and popping his pimples whenever he returned home from work.

According to the state, sometime in March last year; the complainant was sleeping in the dining room with her 10-year-old sister when woke up feeling cold after the accused had removed her blankets.

The court heard that Chihuri threatened to kill her if she screamed for help before raping her once.

In the morning, the girl told Chihuri's wife Anna Magwenya about the incident who in turn did not act on the matter.

It was further revealed that on two more occasions, Chihuri sneaked into the girl's bedroom and had sexual intercourse with the complainant resulting in her falling pregnant.

When the complainant informed Chihuri that she had missed her period, he gave her half cup of boiled Tanganda tea leaves as a concoction to terminate the pregnancy but failed.

Following the foiled abortion, the court heard that Chihuri informed his wife Magwenya that he was responsible for the complainant's pregnancy.

Instead of reporting the matter to the police, Magwenya took the girl to a traditional healer identified as Simbisai Magora to terminate the pregnancy.

Magora reportedly gave the complainant some powdered herbs to mix with porridge but he again failed to terminate the pregnancy.

The court further heard that in June of the same year, the complainant went to her home in Zvishavane where she informed her mother about the alleged rape and pregnancy leading to Chihuri's arrest.

Chihuri was however convicted of incest after proving that their intercourse was consensual and will serve an effective three years in jail after Kuwanda suspended 12 months for five years on condition of good behaviour.

He pleaded for a non-custodial sentence to enable him to financially provide for his three week old child from the incestuous relationship but Magistrate Kuwanda said the convicted was a candidate for the jungle as was not fit to live with human beings.

"You are not fit to be granted or say you want a fine. If the law allowed, I shouldn't have incarcerated you. I should have sent you to the jungle with the animals because you are not a human being but fit to live with animals," Magistrate Kuwanda said.

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