President calls ritual of having sex with girls once they reach puberty shocking malpractice and orders arrest of self-proclaimed sex worker
Malawis president has ordered the arrest of a man who said he was HIV positive and had been hired by families to have sex with more than 100 young women, including children, as part of a ritual cleansing.
Peter Mutharika said that since the accused, Eric Aniva, said he does not use protection in his evil acts, he should be investigated for exposing girls to HIV and further be charged accordingly.
In interviews, Aniva claimed to be a paid sex worker, known as a hyena, hired by families and village elders in southern Malawi to have sex with young girls once they reached puberty as part of a ritual.
In a statement, Malawis president said it was unacceptable to commit such violations under the guise of culture.
He also ordered police to investigate all men and parents involved in what he called this shocking malpractice.
Aniva has been arrested and charged with multiple cases of defilement, Malawi police inspector General Lexten Kachama said.
Kachama alleged that most of the people he had had sex with were underaged children.
A Malawi human rights lawyer, Chrispine Sibande, commended the president for the gesture but said arresting Aniva was not enough.
The practice is very rampant in some of parts of the country, Sibande said, urging a broader effort to end it.