While the sexual revolution of the 1970s may have opened up the gates to greater acknowledgement and acceptance of homosexuality, bisexuality, however, incest too remains a very charged taboo in Africa.
But the right thinking people attribute this men’s act to craziness and addiction to drugs, pornography through technological advancement, and moral decay among others.
However, some secularists continue to justify the evil act and even quote or cite incidences in the bible, saying that the phenomenon is not new and therefore discard the views of the sexual activists.
Why would one defend a beast of the sort anyway, I don’t encourage prostitution but at least a man would avoid being tempted (like they recklessly say) to sleep with his daughter by dashing to the streets to hook a sexual worker.
Recently seven-year old Beatrice Akamanzi was raped by her 40 year old father Sylvie Bwarayaze. Francine Ugiriwabo, 15-year-old neighbour talked to The Sunday Times and below are the excerpts.
Ugiriwabo says Akamanzi was raped more than 5 times by her father, before he could be found to face the consequences.
Ugiriwabo who is in form one, and a representative of children from Rukoma, Kanyonyi in Southern Province, says Akamanzi told her what her father was doing to her over time.
“She told me she was going to tell me what her dad had been doing to her for a long time” Ugiriwabo says in Kinyarwanda.
The father would tell her to have sex with him or he would withhold her food. Akamanzi did not only give in to survive but also respected his father and never wanted to hurt him.
“We are neighbors and one day she came to me and told me she wanted to tell me something that had been ongoing,” she explains. “She asked me to keep it a secret.”
She adds that Akamanzi started crying as she explained the pain of what her father always took her through.
“I assured her that everything would be alright,” Ugiriwabo says.
She says she had to assure Akamanzi that she was in safe hands. To reassure her, Akamanzi told Ugiriwabo that she (Akamanzi) wanted to tell her something she would not tell anyone else ever.
Fortunately Akamanzi’s father was arrested after her aunt (Bwarayaze’s sister) and Ugiriwabo lodged a complaint with the police. Akamanzi is now living with her aunt who is needy.
Akamanzi told Ugiriwabo that the father had raped her since she came back to stay with the father at four.
This is not the first time Bwarayaze has been behind bars. He used to steal food from the gardens of the neighbourhood.
His previous imprisonments were trying for his wife because, when he got out of prison, he was violent towards her which culminated into divorce.
After divorcing, Akamanzi’s mother took all her children with her. Akamanzi was the first born and her siblings were boys.
Bwarayaze asked the wife to bring Akamanzi back and help him do some few things at home like fetching water, Ugiriwabo says. It seemed like the father intended to use her as a wife in absence of her mother.
After her father’s arrest, Ugiriwabo says Akamanzi is in a confused state. She is worried because her father is imprisoned and does not know where her mother lives.
The aunt has been trying to help Akamanzi by reassuring her she is not the cause of the father’s imprisonment. She tells Akamanzi that it was her father’s own making.
Although she is living with her aunt, this does not ease Akamanzi’s constant fear of an attack from the father if he comes back.
According to Ugiriwabo, Akamanzi, being young, does not know the meaning when they talk about life imprisonment.
She says she knows that the dad is tough and thinks any time he gets closer to her, she will have to face the consequences of telling Ugiriwabo about the rape.
The government is fighting the sexual crimes against children and strictly handling the rampant cases of rape against women and children.
With life imprisonment weighing against Bwarayaze, Ugiriwabo says she and the aunt are not worried of anything against victim and his reaction thereafter.
They are sure the child is protected from the father’s wrath.
They are also sure that the trial will be handled properly and the incident will die down as ‘just another’ instance of family trouble, Ugiriwabo says.
Ugiriwabo demands that the state takes greater responsibility for the protection and delivery of justice to any victim of the situation and the family.
Ugiriwabo adds: “[We need] government’s help to ensure that Akamanzi does not get left on the sidelines as just being a child victim of parental rape be helped to realize her dreams.”