23 November 2016 Last updated at: 3:26 PM

Aniva’s sentence ‘too short’, activist come fighting

One of the country’s gender activists Emma Kaliya says the sentence given to Eric Aniva is too lenient.

Eric Aniva Malawi HIV positive man given K2000 to sleep with children

Eric Aniva; Got a two year jails term.

The Nsanje hyena Aniva who for the past five months hit headlines in the local and international media because of his involvement in harmful cultural practices was on Tuesday sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour.

Aniva faced two charges and he has been given 24 months for the first count of indulging in harmful cultural practices contrary to section 5 sub section 1 and 2 of the 2013 Gender Equality Act and 10 months for the second count of attempting to engage in harmful cultural practices.

Nsanje First Grade Magistrate court’s Principal Resident Magistrate Innocent Nebie said the sentences will run concurently.

However, this has not pleased Kaliya who is also the chairperson for African Womens’ Development and Communication Network and said that the convict was supposed to get a stiffer punishment.

“Yes the sentence to us is an interpretation that things went wrong in a sense that it will send a message there that doing such things in the society there are laws to be pressed against the offenders.”

Emma Kaliya

Kaliya: Says the jail term is ‘too short’.

“However, looking on the negative side of the sentence is that two years is just too little time because the law gives such cases a maximum of five years and those doing this malpractice will continue doing it because there is nothing to threaten them,” worried Kaliya.

She added that she would be grateful if the sentence goes for review considering the number victims of Aniva’s harmful cultural practices.

Meanwhile, Aniva’s lawyer says he will appeal against the two year jail term. The defence lawyer, Michael Goba Chipeta, has since expressed disatisfication with the ruling.

“As a lawyer for Mr Aniva, I am not happy with the ruling. I thought my client would have been given a suspended sentence or told to pay a fine because the state had failed to parade the 100 women who were involved in the said harmful cultural practice. Therefore I will appeal against that ruling,” said Chipeta.

Eric Aniva, 45, was arrested on July 24, 2016, on President Peter Mutharika’s order soon after he confessed to BBC that he had slept with over 100 widows and young girls in a form of harmful cultural practice known as kulowa kufa.

Throughout his court trial, Aniva who admitted and HIV positive and that he was being given K2000 to sleep with the girls, was never given bail.

He hails from Chiphwembwe village in the area of Senior Chief Malemia in Nsanje district.



5 Comments On "Aniva’s sentence ‘too short’, activist come fighting"

  • mwatipera ana anthu says:

    This man we know for sure has HIV how much innocent young girls has killed. To me 2 years is like giving him more chance to kill more musayiwali ndiwokwima heavy

  • As you have put it Mr. James Phiri, the community MUST also be held accountable. More especially those Widows and those who were taking thir children to the man. I believe that these widows are the ones who infected him with the deadly virus. We are not told how their husbands died hence refusing to parade themselves as government witnesses

  • James Phiri says:

    There are two critical issues in the case. The cleansing function is a cultural thing that was sanctioned by society. The chiefs, parents and society were clearly aware of what was going on. And there are many areas of Malawi where girls and women continue to suffer in silence. A whole different approach needs to be adopted to engage society in order to stem this tide.

    The other aspect of Aniva’s case is that he continued to undertake his cleansing function even though he knew that he was HIV positive. He should be held to account for his actions in this regard. Is 2 years adequate punishment? May be. May be not?

    The community and community leaders in Aniva’s area should also be held to account for their actions – for omission or commission. Firstly this cultural practice is archaic and has no place in the 21st century. Secondly how could they allow their young girls and women to be exposed to a man who is HIV positive! This is silly!

    • Peter Njolinjo says:

      Kodi Wa Muje? Anane ndani kuti girls suffer in silence? Mmesa amamva kukoma? Did he rape them? No. They requested this noble man to do a good job. Abolish all stupid cultures in Malawi and not select what the zungus think they suit them.

  • James Phiri says:

    There are two critical issues in the case. The cleansing function in a cultural thing that was sanctioned by society. The chiefs, parents and society was clearly aware of what was going on. And there are many areas of Malawi where girls and women continue to suffer in silence. A whole different approach needs to be adopted to engage society in order t stem this tide.

    The other aspect of Aniva’s case is that that he continued to undertake his cleansing function even though he knew that he was HIV positive. He should be held to account for his actions in this regard. Is 2 years adequate punishment? May be. May be not?

    The community and community leaders in Aniva’s area should also be held to account for their actions – for omission or commission. Firstly this cultural practice is archaic and has no place in the 21st century. Secondly how could they allow their young girls and women to be exposed to a man who is HIV positive!

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