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.
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.