Magistrate recuses himself in Malawi hyena-man case

Nsanje First Grade Magistrate Anderson Masanjala has dramatically recused himself  from further presiding over a case  in which Eric Aniva, popularly known as the Nsanje hyena and Vito Nkhalamba are answering sexual offences.

Aniva with a root which he grinds up and adds to water to drink before sex

Aniva with a root which he grinds up and adds to water to drink before sex

Aniva and Nkhalamba might remain on remand for much longer as the magistrate has  asked to step down from the case, saying he wants to remain neautral.

The case was supposed to start on Monday when Masanjala recused himself from the case and Aniva was thrown back into Nsanje prison.

Masanjala said he would be handing over the case file to the chief resident magistrate who in turn would appoint another magistrate.

The police prosecutor Christopher Botomani told the court earlier that he had received directions from the director of public prosecutions on how the case should be heard and asked for adjournment so that he could read the directives.

He however asked the court to continue remanding Aniva saying he could jump bail if given freedom.

Aniva is answering a charge of practising harmful cultural practices.

He told the BBC that he slept with over 100 widows and young girls as young as 12 in a cleansing cultural practices.

The hyena-man also said he was HIV positive but never told his clients before having sexual intercourse.

The Malawi Law Society has said it will represent him for free during his trial.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From the World

newest oldest most voted
Notify of

The magistrate says he wants to be neutral. Eee!
Malawi Law Society will represent him free of charge. Eee!!

I am patiently waiting to know Aniva’s conviction and sentencing.His story is only a big lesson to me and he would have been used as a resource by ministry of gender in reaching out the other hyenas in the area.

And surely I don’t see him as a hardcore criminal that he should be denied bail.

John Black

What is this judge afraid of? His job is to try people, and not to run away.


This guy is a whistle blower who should by all accounts be trief fairly because in his and his communities beliefs and values what they were doing was considered normal and acceptable. We surely as Malawians dont have to wait for BBC to expose what we know already exits. What about Kuloola? Jando? Msondo? Chokolo?Kutsatsa fumbi? Bulangete la mfumu? the list goes on and on. Are we waiting for the BBC report? Sometimes it is better to acknowledge our cultural practices and stick to them, clean them if necessary but not reject them

Pulofesa Zitete
I totally agree with you. There are so many traditions including polygamy that are out dated in our society. Law or sending persons to prison is not the answer. Our society needs to undergo a transformational change. This can only come with a better educated society. Unfortunately we all do not seem not to accept that the impediment to all this is thieving ministers and civil servants ( because DPP cadets think that theft of public funds can not cause national destitution). Money that is meant for building schools, training teachers is always lost in cashgate circumstances. People that need… Read more »
Moses Makoko
I don’t understand malawi and I dint think I will do. Country men, u min we are keeping this guy behind bars just bcoz azungu azidziwa basi? I stand to be corrected but I have full evidence that every malawian who has been in this country for the past 6 or 12 months must be fully aware of this aniva issue. The story was covered by Times TV and later on by Daily Times newspaper. I was therefore shocked when I heard that a directive was thrown through the stairs to have thus guy arrested when the BBC had covered… Read more »

More From Nyasatimes