ZIMBABWE – Reverand Jepson Mubvereki was yesterday heavily punished by the court for having an incestuous affair with his 21-year-old paternal niece.
Mubvereki, who was taken to court on rape charges but was convicted of incest after trial, was ordered to perform 630 hours of unpaid at Mabelreign police station.
The man of cloth was initially sentenced to 32 months behind bars before magistrate Noel Mupeiwa set aside 14 months of his jail term.
Magistrate Mupeiwa set aside the 14 months for five years on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within that period.
The remaining 18 months were also suspended on condition that he performs 630 hours of community service.
Mubvereki had denied the charges.
Magistrate Mupeiwa, in sentencing Mubvereki, said the court decided not hand him a non-custodial sentence since it was not an extreme case of incest.
“From the circumstances in which this offence was committed this cannot be an extreme case of incest.
“This is because there are other cases of on incest where a father fall in love with his daughter and may end up impregnating her.
“Investigations as to how the relationship started and establishes the extent of the accused moral was not done.
“The accused was described as a father figure by the State.
“A fine is not appropriate because accused was a father figure and a fine would trivialise his actions.
“If you are a father and daughter misbehave, as a father you are expected to counsel the daughter,” he said.
The State led by Timothy Makoni had it that sometime in May this year Mubvereki called the 21-year-old woman and told her that her mother tasked him to have a sexual relationship with her before she died.
Reports are that Mubvereki also told the woman that it was called kupingudza.
Allegations are that sometime in June this year Mubvereki called the young woman to his office and forcibly had sexual intercourse with her.
Further accusations are that Mubvereki went on to have sexual intercourse with his relative at least twice a week from the month of June up until September 24.
It is said that the matter came to light after the woman’s sister scrolled her cell phone and came across some messages between her and Mubvereki, which forced her bombard her with insults.