While some Malawian social and legal commentators have faulted President Peter Mutharika for ordering the arrest the self-confessed sex predator r Eric Aniva ‘’the Hyna’’, the UN Women, an agency of the United Nations in New York has issued statement in support of the President’s action describing it as a demonstration of strong commitment towards protecting women and the girl child.
In the Statement, the UN-Women has applauded President Peter Mutharika for taking a swift action on the Nsanje man who confessed to have been sleeping with widows and under-aged girls in a cultural initiation into adulthood.
Aniva was arrested last week, after appearing in the media several times claiming that he has slept with 104 girls and women in cultural rites and that he was being hired to do the ‘‘job’’ He also confessed to be HIV-positive and that he does not reveal this fact to his clients.
In a letter addressed to the President, UN Women Under – Secretary-General and Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Nqcuka applauded President Mutharika for taking a swift action on Aniva.
“Your Excellency’s quick action and bold response on the matter demonstrates a strong commitment on the protection of women and girls rights. It shows that you are a true champion of the HeforShe campaign,” she said.
She added that it is pleasing to note that the government has taken such a stand against harmful cultural practices that put the lives of women and girls at risk.
“I wish to commend the government of Malawi for taking such a strong stance against harmful traditional practices particularly on early child marriages and sexual initiations of girls, and that legislation is being put into effect,” said Ms Mlambo-Nqcuka.
She has since pledged the organisation’s support to the government in promoting the rights and freedoms of women.
The UN Women chief also urged the government to pursue a long-term and coordinated approach towards the sexual initiation of young girls.
Aniva remains on remand at Nsanje Prison after he was denied court bail early this week.
Back in Malawi the Presidents directive to have Aniva arrested drew mixed reaction with a known legal scholar questioning the powers the president used to order the arrest.
Social commentators were also divided; other applauded the Presidents move while others defended Aniva citing cultural reasons.