Nsanje hyena Eric 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 practice.
Nsanje First Grade Magistrate court’s Principal Resident Magistrate Innocent Nebie said the sentences will run concurently.
When delivering judgement, Nebie said by engaging in the harmful cultural practices, Aniva was taking advantage of the vulnerability of the women in Nsanje hence the custodial sentence to deter would be ‘hyenas’.
“The offence that Mr Eric Aniva has committed requires a maximum sentence of 5 years or K1 million fine but because Mr Aniva is a first offender in the case, I order him to serve a jail term of two years and 10 months imprisonment with hard labour,” judged Innocent Nebie.
Meanwhile, defence lawyer, Michael Goba Chipeta has 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 was never given bail.
He hails from Chiphwembwe village in the area of Senior Chief Malemia in Nsanje district