Residents in Bulawayo’s Entumbane suburb have encountered a stunning situation of an aunt and nephew who decided to get married amid reports that the woman is now two months pregnant in what the man also claims was a pre-planned arrangement with his late uncle so that they could safeguard the family’s wealth.
Antony Mawewe (25) and his aunt, Chipo Mugati believed to be in her 40s decided to steal the limelight for all the wrong and unbiblical reasons when they got married following the death of his uncle Mike Mawewe on 3 December last year.
Antony’s father, Mawewe-Munyaradzi and the late Mike Mawewe were biological brothers, making the aunt his “mother” in a traditional sense. Mugati and Mike’s eight-year-old marriage was blessed with one child.
According to a mole close to the development, Mugati decided it was better to marry her nephew because she didn’t want to marry her late husband’s brothers, who had been reportedly looking to get her as a wife.
Antony was also more than willing to marry his “mother”, and even told his aunt’s family he was going to pay off part of the lobola his uncle still owed them when he passed away.
“What makes the two’s sins so obnoxiously unforgivable is that Mugati invited Antony from the village to come and assist her to nurse Mike when he was not feeling well. Mugati also claimed she wanted to teach Antony to sew since she is self-employed as a dressmaker.
“Shockingly, when Mike died and a few weeks after his burial, the family was stunned when they discovered that the two-Antony and Mugati — were now staying as husband and wife.
“When they were confronted by family members the two confessed that they were madly in love and were now staying together as husband and wife with Mugati saying that it all started at work during a joke which led to sex later in the night when they returned home.
“Chipo told the family gathering that she agreed to her nephew’s demand for sex and thought it was just to satisfy his sexual feelings, but somehow, it became a daily thing until they decided to get married,” said the mole.
In an interview Mugati, who said she was not ashamed or rattled by the development, promised to take their relationship to another level by walking down the aisle.
She said they would not allow anyone to derail their plans to solemnise their “illicit” relationship.
“We started staying together in December last year when his uncle died. I don’t see anything wrong with that since the practice of a son inheriting his widowed mother is prevalent in my home area in Bikita.
“Antony has always been there for me, when his uncle was ill and even after his death. That’s why I saw it better for me to marry him because my late husband’s other brothers were also looking to get me as a wife,” said Mugati unashamedly.
She said her family had since endorsed Antony as their “new” son-in-law.
“People, especially some men at our workplace are just jealous that I have moved on with my nephew as a husband. This is because I turned down their proposals. Before we got married Antony was single and searching and I don’t see any reason why people are casting aspersions on me as if I snatched him from another woman,” said Mugati.
“Nothing will separate us and we are planning to wed anytime soon,” said Mugati while expressing her undying love for Antony who had accompanied her to the B-Metro newsroom to set the record straight on their “weird” relationship.
Antony also echoed his wife-cum-aunt’s sentiments saying the marriage was a pre-planned arrangement with his late uncle so that he could look after the family.
“My uncle was the one who proposed that I take her in as my wife when he was ill at that time. This is because upon his death, he didn’t want her (Mugati) to go back to her family. When he died my family also saw it fit that I take over. I really love her and nothing will separate us. People should just come to terms with the news that I am the one who is now in charge. We are also not the first to have such a marriage arrangement,” boasted Antony.
“This rare act of a man sleeping with his aunt is the reason why it is no longer raining favourably in our city,” a neighbour who refused to be named tersely said as she threw her hand helplessly into the air.
Contrary to claims by Antony that his family blessed the marriage, his father in a telephone interview from his rural home in Muzarabani, breathed fire over the two parties’ marriage describing it as an abomination and disgrace to the family.
“I’m distressed. I don’t know how to handle this matter. It would have been better for her (Mugati) to get another man to satisfy her rather than going into a love affair with Antony who is culturally her son. It is a very shameful thing and an abomination,” fumed Antony’s father.
He added: “The whole family is against the marriage and as a biological father I have since disowned him as my son. Anything that happens to him I am not involved. I am suspecting the two started sleeping together when my brother was still alive.
“It is really an embarrassment to the family and when we reported the matter to the chief he said it was an abomination and that the two should pay 10 beasts for putting the name of the family and area into disrepute”.
Views from Zimbabwe Traditional Healers Association (Zinatha):
Zinatha president George Kandiero: “This is not allowed in our culture, makunakuna chaiwo aya, (This is an abomination). In the past they would have been killed but today we cannot do it because we are afraid of the law. They should immediately break off their marriage or they risk experiencing a bad omen in their lives.”
View from a traditional leader: Chief Mpakwa: “The whole act is evil and not part of tradition. As one of the traditional leaders from Bikita where the woman claims the practice is allowed, let me say we don’t have such a weird practice where a son is allowed to marry his mother.
“The man might not be the woman’s biological son but the nature of their relationship does not allow them to sleep together and they should be severely punished for what they did.”
View from a pastor: “Pastor Jacob Katsekera of Apostolic Faith Mission of Zimbabwe (AFM): “This is an abomination and not acceptable at all. The two should face the wrath of God. The prohibition of their marriage is found predominantly in Leviticus 18:8-18 and the chapter in question specifies punishments for incestuous unions.”