The Nsanje Magistrate court has shifted to Blantyre the case of Eric Aniva who is accused of sexually abusing scores of girls and young women under the pretext of culture.
Aniva is answering the charge of engaging in harmful cultural practices contrary to section 5, sub-section 1 and 2 of the Gender Equality Act of 2013. He faces a maximum of K1 million fine and five years in jail if convicted.
Since the case began, proceedings have been taking place in Nsanje but the state applied for the trial to be shifted to Blantyre.
Making his ruling on the matter, Senior Resident Magistrate Innocent Nebbie observed that the case should be heard in Blantyre in order to reduce the expenses which government is incurring on transportation to Nsanje Boma for proceedings of the case.
He also pointed out that the shift will allow the state to parade its witnesses on the case who happen to be Blantyre based journalists.
Aniva was arrested on July 24, 2016 on President Peter Mutharika’s order soon after he confessed that he had been sleeping with over 100 women and girls through sexual cleansing rituals.
He has been denied bail application throughout his trial, a development which has angered some quarters in the country.
Meanwhile, the case of Aniva who hails from Chiphwembwe village in the area of Senior Chief Malemia in Nsanje has been adjourned to October 5, 2016, for further hearing.