MASVINGO - In a development that has shocked many people in Masvingo, a Mwenezi widow has been made pregnant by her son, whom she says she now wants to marry. Betty Mbereko (40), who was widowed 12 years ago, has been cohabiting with her first child Farai Mbereko (23), and says she prefers him to her late husband's "young brothers".
Now six months pregnant, Betty said she had decided that it was better to "marry" Farai because she did not want to marry her late husband's young brothers, whom she said were coveting her. The two appeared before a village court last week and Betty stunned the villagers when she said the love affair with her son had begun three years earlier. Betty then proceeded to poured out her love for her son, who is 17 years her junior.
She said after spending a lot of money sending Farai to school following the death of her husband, she felt she had the right to his money and no other woman was entitled to it. "Look, I strove alone to send my son to school and no one helped me. Now you see that my son is working and you are accusing me of doing something which is unheard of? Let me enjoy the products of my sweat," she told the village court. Betty added that marriage was an agreement between two people and no one was supposed to interfere. She even accused her late husband's young brothers of wanting to victimise her son, saying they also wanted to marry her and have been lusting after her for a long time.
Farai admitted that he was more than prepared to marry his mother, and would pay off the lobola balance his father had left unpaid to his grandparents.
On his part, Farai admitted that he was more than prepared to marry his mother, and would pay off the lobola balance his father had left unpaid to his grandparents. "I know my father died before he finished paying the bride price, and I am prepared to pay it off," he said. He, however, admitted that his grandparents who referred his issue to his uncles had advised that it was taboo for a son to marry his mother. "It is better to publicise what is happening because people should know that I am the one who made my mother pregnant. Otherwise they will accuse her of promiscuity," he said.
He added that it was better for him to marry his mother because they understood each other well. "I have been living with my mother since I was young and I know we can have a fruitful future together," he added. In Shona and many other cultures, the two are not supposed to have any sexual relationship. However, the two vowed to marry despite everyone else being against the idea. "We cannot allow this to happen in our village; mashura chaiwo aya (This is a bad omen indeed)," said local headman Nathan Muputirwa. "In the past if such a thing happened, they would have to be killed but today we cannot do it because we are afraid of the police," he said.
He warned the two lovebirds to either break their marriage or leave his village immediately. Mother and son chose the latter option. They have since left the village for an unknown destination. Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (ZINATHA) president Gordon Chavunduka said he had also heard of many cases where mother and son were having private love affairs. "Mother and son love relations are there but many are doing it privately," said Chavunduka. He added that it is taboo for society to accept those marriages but the situation is difficult to curb since modern people are no longer respecting their culture. "I only want to warn those who think they are wise enough to defy their cultural regulations that a lot of evil spells are following them," he said.