The practice loosely known as kuverenga chanza, is commonly used in Nyanga. Peter Tsvito Mazarura of Tsvito Village, last Friday left Chief Saunyama's court a relieved man after palm reading pointed that his nephew Nicholas Kufa (46) was the father of a two-year-old baby at the centre of the dispute.
The two men were having an intimate love affair with their sister-in-law, Nyaradzai Dzomba (28) of Tsvito Village. Nyaradzai was married to Mazarura's late brother, Shadrick Tsvito, who died in 2004.
Kufa, of Ward 36 Makoni North, initially denied ever having a love affair with Nyaradzai when he appeared before Chief Saunyama.
"I am not the father of the child. I never had a love affair with her and I never had sexual intercourse with her as alleged," he said.
Headman Tsvito then interjected and challenged Nyaradzai to produce a birth record of the child to ascertain her claims on who had sired her child that she delivered at a local clinic.
The 28-year-old Nyaradzai said she deliberately decided not to reveal the name of the child's father when she gave birth at the local clinic.
Nyaradzai said she wanted to keep her good relationship with other family members after the death of her husband.
The baby's palm
She, however, admitted to having a love affair with Kufa. "He would visit me at my homestead whilst coming from the beer hall. He proposed love to me and I said accepted. That is how it all started," she said.
In a bid to solve the dispute, Chief Saunyama suggested that elderly women who had attended the hearing conduct the palm reading.
According to the elderly villagers, palm markings of a baby boy match t with those of its father's right palm while those of a girl would be like her father's left hand.
Results from the villagers' tests ‘proved' that Kufa was the father of the child. But Kufa still insisted that he was not the biological father of the child even after the palm reading exercise.
"I am not the father of the child," he said. "Were you not in love with her? Are you saying you never had sexual intercourse with her? Are you suggesting that what these elderly women are saying about you being the father of the child, a lie?" asked Chief Saunyama.
Peter Tsvito Mazarura's palm
Chief Saunyama then suggested taking Kufa and Nyaradzai for DNA tests using his own resources if they were insisting that he was not the father of the child. But he told them that they would repay all his expenses in double after the DNA tests should it be proved that Kufa was the father of the child.
It was at this point that Kufa chose to come out clean and admitted to having an intimate relationship with the woman leading to her conceiving and giving birth to the child.
"It is true. I was in love with her and I we had sexual intercourse," he said.
But his admittance could not spare him from being taken for the DNA testing.
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