A Nairobi court has ruled that sexual relations between cousins is not illegal in Kenya, this is according to a High Court ruling that allowed for the taboo relationship to exist without being criminalised.
According to the Standard, the ruling was made in a judgment summary after a woman took her nephew to court for sleeping with her daughter.
High Court judge James Makau found that the Sexual Offenses Act did not mention cousins among the list of relatives under the offence of incest.
“The National Assembly did not leave out the clause on cousins by intension but by the fact that in some cultures in Kenya, like the Hundus and Muslims, allow sexual acts and marriage between cousins. It is not criminalized,” said Makau as quoted in the newspaper.
He further rules that sex with cousins is permissible because there are no provisions for it in the law.
The case was brought to the court after the nephew, name withheld, was found engaging in sexual acts with his aunt’s daughter.
“The man denied the accusations of illicit sex with a minor, saying the girl had not testified against him not elaborated on how they were related. He was, however, sentenced to 10 years in prison,” published the Standard on Wednesday, August 10.
He appealed the case at the High Court and the jail term was thrown out.
Court records showed that the man had invited his cousin to his house on April 9, 2014, in the afternoon to which she agreed and even went ahead to prepare a meal for him.
The girl’s mother caught them red handed and filed a criminal case against him.
“The magistrate court erred in finding that he was guilty of incest. The prosecution failed to prove that the offence lay nuder prohibited relationships as provided for by law.
The court should not have imported the relationship of cousins and included it in illegal relationships,” concluded Makau.