Malawi ‘hyena man’ Aniva drags govt to court over cultural sex conviction

Eric Aniva, a man from Nsanje who was convicted and served a two-year jail term for sleeping with over 100 women in a cultural sex scandal, says he will sue the government for jailing him over a normal cultural practice.

HIV-positive Malawi ‘hyena’ Eric Aniva was the first case to be tried under Malawi’s Gender Equality Act of 2013. Photograph: Eldson Chagara/AFP/Getty Images

Aniva, known as a “hyena”, told a local radio station that the conviction was erroneous, and he needs compensation from the government for the illegal arrest.

He was convicted in 2016 after he admitted in a BBC interview that he was paid to sleep with more than 100  women and girls without disclosing his HIV status under a cultural practice known as ‘Fisi’ (hyena).

Aniva was the subject of a BBC feature into various sexual cleansing practices in Malawi.

The practice of “widow cleansing”, when a widow must have sex after her husband dies, was outlawed a few years ago.

However, Aniva has told MIJ Radio, he will seek legal intervention because he was arrested over a practice chiefs and those who hired him supported.

But senior chief Malemia of Nsanje said the conviction was justified and is a step forward to protecting women and girls from harmful cultural practices.

“Fisi” is a cultural practise a man is hired at a fee to sleep with a widow soon after the death of her husband in a belief that this would cleanse the woman.

However, rights and health activists blame the cultural practice for the spread of HIV and AIDS in some areas.

Aniva’s lawyer, Michael Goba Chipeta,  could not comment on the compensation claim.

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DRAKE
DRAKE
8 months ago

Unfortunately this man was judged by the Press, Politicians and Civil Society. Judgement was influenced, no Judge would have overturned this case. Unfortunately TA Malemia acted strangely on this simply because he is a Pastor. This man should not use Malawian Courts, should be helped to use SADC Court or any other Court outside Malawi. The TA as a custodian of Culture, this practice was well known since the time of the Colonials there was no time that this was stopped. Families were approaching this man to perfom the Rituals and was paid for the services He was not proposing… Read more »

Chisale
Chisale
8 months ago

Times do change, and we as people are expected to move on. Our old folks used to marry young girls without giving them a chance of education. We all agreed it was wrong and stopped it. In our culture we have always shown our love by shaking hands without even thinking. We have stopped and moved on because of corona. Can I ask this lawyer to explain to this idiot why we stopped this ‘fisi’ culture? HIV/AIDS. The practice makes a mockery of the fight against this virus. Can someone just quietly take him aside and sqeeze his balls may… Read more »

Kambewa Ngozo
8 months ago

Foseki
Why should the government waste tax payment from Malawians.
You must go back to chichiri prison for infecting woman.
Infact the sena people who hired you must also go to prison

Mazembe
Mazembe
8 months ago

NIVA ! YES THE LADIES HIRED YOU , BUT DID YOU DISCLOSE TO THEM THAT YOU WERE HIV POSITIVE ,?

Abraham Banda
Abraham Banda
8 months ago

Goba chipeta sound to be unlearned legal practioner with no ethics. Was he not the same that represented chathunya. Have sense of human and stop useless love of money.

Legally the man is right but morale wrong ethically not worthy to sue

Aaron Mlale
Aaron Mlale
8 months ago

He is so stupid in his mind, and I can see the chief n him are the ones who spreading HIV n AIDS

Keen Observer
Keen Observer
8 months ago

I think this guy hasn’t repented, he thinks that such cultural practice has got place in a modern society. People let’s know Christ the Saviour.

Mayi
Mayi
8 months ago

Thank you Mr. Aniva for your concerns. Now that you have come out and admitted your allegations we are sending you back into the cooler for the rest of your life where you belong. Shame on you! Your ignorance is not an excuse wamva iwe Fisi? Some of us are mothers and even if these things are not done on my own kids, my heart breaks each time I hear a child has been raped. Murder is a whole lot better to rape, for all will someday die. Rape needs a stiffer punishment Malawi. That is why you are giving… Read more »

DRAKE
DRAKE
8 months ago
Reply to  Mayi

Very Unfortunate Comment

444444No
444444No
8 months ago

You r right my man sue them, they hired you

National Ceo
National Ceo
8 months ago

The person has not changed and is a threat to the society.

Wilson Nkwanda
Wilson Nkwanda
8 months ago
Reply to  National Ceo

Iam numb. So, this man is out of prison walls? Has this man changed, I don’t think so. Make this man realise that sleeping with girls and women (without protection) was putting the society at risk of sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS. Every man has to be mature by protecting our women and girls. Don’t harm them.

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