In a case of suspected incest that has become the talk of Chivi, a 44-year-old man was recently arrested on allegations of bedding his 16-year-old daughter after sending his wife packing.

Unnocent Gatawa was at the weekend detained at Chivi police station after his alleged affair with his daughter Itayi was unearthed by the younger sisters. However, both father and daughter claimed the accusations were not true.

The alleged incident took place at Mapfanyangira village under Chief Madhlangove. According to sources close to the family, Itayi used to sneak out of the spare bedroom to her father's bedroom in the dead of the night leaving her younger sisters aged 13, eight and two in slumber.

Innocent chucked out his wife Memory Jimu (36) who went to her parents' home in Mashava sometime in January accusing her of being a bad influence to teaching children bad manners.

"It's a sad story that Innocent is taking his daughter as wife. He chucked his wife away from home after one of his daughters eloped with her boyfriend," said a villager.

Sources said Innocent is reported to have tried to bed one of his daughters Tavase Gatawa (18) before she eloped with a cattle herder.

Memory is now working in Mashava where she found a job.

"I came here on Thursday after receiving stories that my husband was bedding my daughter and he never said anything about it. I was shocked on Friday when police officers came and questioned him before leading him to the police station. It disturbs me so much if the allegations are true because there are so many single women and widows around this area for him to take wives rather than destroying my children's lives.

"He sent me packing after one of our daughters fell pregnant to a local cattle herder. he accused me of failing to discipline her. He ordered me not to accompany him to the police station and Itayi followed him the following morning to find out about his fate there. We are now being called names in this village because of that story and I wonder what is going to be the end result," said Memory in tears.

But Itayi denied the allegations before claiming that villagers were after destroying her father's character.

"I am coming from the station where my father is facing charges of having sex with me after one villager spread falsehoods. I never had sex with my father. It's only that people see us as lovers because he got married at a young age. My father failed to raise my school fees while I was doing my Form 2 and from there I am ever at home with my younger sisters because my mother is now with her parents in Mashava.

Innocent was released after statements were recorded and is expected to appear before Victim Friendly Unit soon.

"They picked me for questioning after a villager made a report that I was bedding my own daughter. I never did that but villagers are against me because I am a stranger here. I relocated from another village," he said.

Innocent has five daughters and two sons from two wives and reports were that he believes Memory eloped with him while pregnant before giving birth to Itayi.

Tavase is Innocent's daughter from his first marriage, according to sources close to the family.

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