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You Can Have Sex With Your Cousins, Nothing Illegal About It In Kenya, Court Declares

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For the longest time in African and Kenyan history, sexual relationship with a blood relative has been considered as taboo and an abomination in the act of the same. The tradition of sexual relationships amongst cousins has however been a norm especially amongst the Hindus and many people in the West also do it.

Being a taboo, however, doesn’t say the act hasn’t been happening, there have been several cases of incest reported in Kenya and many sexual engagements amongst blood relatives have been happening behind the lights.

A court ruling that has since freed a man convicted for ten years in prison for sleeping with his cousin brings a whole new angle of conversation. High Court Judge James Makau, in an appeal where a man was contesting a conviction of alleged incest with a cousin by the Magistrates Court, found that the Sexual Offences Act does not mention cousin among the list of relatives under the offence of incest.

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He ruled that the Parliament left out the clause on Cousins intentionally given the fact that in some cultures in Kenya – such as Hindus and Muslims – and some African communities, sexual acts between cousins are not criminalised. “This means it is permissible to have sex with a cousin,” the judge ruled. “My understanding of the said section (Section 20(1) of the Sexual Offences Act) is that if any sexual act takes place between two cousins, that does not amount to incest within the meaning of the provisions of the Sexual Offences Act.”

Could this ruling be used to legitimise sexual relationships and possible marriages amongst relatives in Kenya? Needless to say that children sired through such blood ties have unexplainable genetical complications. Are Kenya and African ready to embrace such a ruling? Would you sleep with or marry your cousin?

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Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Do you have a story, Scandal you want me to write on? Send me tips to [in.kenyawest@protonmail.com]

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