Stakeholders in Nsanje district have responded angrily to British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) recent report entitled ‘the man hired to have sex with children’ which portrayed that some men are hired to sleep with underage girls through a sexual cleansing ritual called ‘kusasa fumbi’.
A report published on BBC on July 21, 2016, which quoted Eric Aniva 45 also exposed an alleged practice in which women who lose their husbands are taken for death cleansing before burial of their husbands which Senior Chief Malemia and other stakeholders claim is not in the district’s cultural system.
During the meeting held in the district Tuesday, stakeholders said they are very angry with the story as it is not representing the truth of Sena culture.
“What is in the report is a mix up of different cultural practices that were being practiced in other district and not in Nsanje. For instance, here in Nsanje, we do not have this culture of girls having sex with a paid sex worker known as ‘Hyena’ once they reach puberty as rituals.
“It is even false to claim that when a man dies, his wife is required by tradition to sleep with a hired man before being buried. It is a total misrepresentation of facts that aimed at tainting the image of the district but also the country as a whole.
“I have no kind words for the BBC reporter as his news item does not paint a true picture of the Sena culture. We are questioning the intention of Ed Butler who wrote the story as his story is not representing the truth of their culture,” said Senior Chief Malemia.
Senior Chief Malemia said the culture of sexual cleansing after the death of a man has been modified as when a man dies, they use another family or relations to do it on their behalf and not hiring man to do it with the widow.
One of the many stakeholders attended the gathering Sustainable Rural Community Development (SURCOD) are demanding an apology from the BBC.
SURCOD Executive Director January Mvula says the story has destroyed their image hence the need for an apology.
“We the Sena are not the fools. If you read that vague story, you will find that it has a mixed up of cultural practices which are not practiced in Nsanje district. In real sense, Aniva would have been arrested for cheating on issues that are not happening in the district. As a district, we are demanding an apology from the BBC.
Meanwhile Eric Aniva 45, of Mbenje village in the area of Chief Ngabu in the lower shire district is currently on remand at Nsanje prison awaiting trial scheduled for August 5, 2016.
He is currently answering a holding charge of prohibition of harmful practices under section 5 sub sections 1-2 of Gender Equality Act of 2013 which he is admitting.