Data from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that women save more than men although they earn less....
I walked into my house only to find my husband having sex with his younger sister
A few years ago, a hacker exposed phone messages bristling with decadence that had been sent to radio presenter Maina Kageni for his sex-laced morning show.
One of the texts read: “Hi, Maina call me if you find time. I walked into my house only to find my husband having sex with his younger sister. Akaniuliza (he asked me) ‘haven’t you heard of privacy?’ I’m confused. Good day.” Another user texted in saying: “I am in love with my father-in- law. I’m 26 and he is 57 years (sic). I love him more than I love my husband. We have been sleeping together since my first year in marriage. He is well-endowed.”
Another wrote: “My situation is worse because I allowed my mum’s boyfriend to seduce me and I eventually slept with him. I later realised he is HIV positive and I do regret…”
Elsewhere, two daughters of a former MP committed suicide, while a third was rescued in the nick of time in February last year. Medical notes from a psychiatrist who treated the 19-year-old indicated incest as the reason for her attempted suicide. The MP had also been allegedly sexually abusing his daughter since she turned 14.
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The girl’s millionaire father was on her case thrice a week. Her mother was aware of her ordeal but turned a blind eye to it. Apparently, it was the reason her older sister committed suicide. The politician paid an unusually large amount in consultation fees to the owner of the medical facility and asked for his daughter’s file.
Incest has become alarmingly rampant, especially in Western Kenya. However, incest, even though many don’t believe, is slowly gaining ground in Nairobi, especially amongst the youth. Incest, for some Kenyans, is no longer taboo.
At Imara Daima estate, there was an uproar a few months back when it was discovered that an unemployed man who stayed with his mother was actually having an incestuous relationship with his mum
City psychologist Faith Atsango says she doesn’t have the exact statics on incestuous relations. However, in her practice, she has met ‘more than enough’ patients who confess to incest, a taboo with many moral, religious, cultural and biological side effects.
The breakup of traditional families, amorphous beliefs, Westernisation and loose family set-ups, coupled by influence from social media has witnessed increased cases of love affairs between in-laws and siblings having sexual relationships.
The widow, in her 40s, had rented out her servant’s quarters to a newly-married couple. National Council for Children’s Service said that research conducted between 1990 and 2008 found that a number of adolescents were having sex with close relatives.
According to lawyer Harold Ayodo, Kenya’s Sexual Offences Act criminalises incest. The law states: “Any person who commits an indecent act or an act that cause penetration with a female person, who is to his knowledge his daughter, granddaughter, sister, mother, niece, aunt or grandmother is guilty of an offence called incest.”
The same applies for women who have similar relations with male relatives. Guilty parties can earn a 10-year jail sentence, or life in prison, if their victim is below 18 years. This law applies regardless of whether or not there was consent from both parties.
Even though Kenyans have warmed up to the idea of test tube babies and fertilisation from sperm banks, the Kenyan parliament is working on the In Vitro Fertilisation Bill 2014, which seeks to establish an authority that will maintain a register of such births and the identities of the children’s biological fathers as soon as the children reach age 18 and wish to be given such information.
Kenya would be the first country in the world to have such a law.
Psychologist Faith Atsango says adolescents’ minds are still very feeble and can be easily convinced by factors around their lives, especially the internet.
“At least 60 per cent of the Internet comprises adult entertainment, and it is easily available. These children will at one time or another, try to do those things they see online and they will do it with the people close to them, their relatives. Living in the city means there isn’t enough space for everybody and a family has to share bedroom or even bathrooms,” says Atsango.
Dr Amos Mongony a veteran medic based in the Hurlingham says it’s universally accepted, after years of research, that marriages within the same family increases the risk of children being born with deformities or genetic disorders.
“I am not a specialist in genetics, but I read a research conducted in Pakistan, where such marriages thrive, where it was found that more than 30 per cent of deformities and abnormalities were from people who married within the family. Marrying within the family can lead to abnormalities in your future offspring. Certain genetic traits remain dormant and are called recessive genes. They are not a disease,” says Dr Mong’ony.
Bishop Thomas Wahome warns that sleeping with relatives is a social issue and the moral depravity evidenced in Kenya is because old customs and traditions that kept the society glued have quickly been eroded by modernisation.
“Traditionally, our forefathers had measures in place to ensure you didn’t end up marrying your cousin. As we advanced, we have forgotten and neglected some of these African teachings, terming them as retrogressive, but they all had a meaning and a purpose,” Wahome says.