Less than a month after he shockingly revealed that he had slept with dozens of underage girls and women without protection, the HIV-positive Malawian “Hyena” man is now attracting sympathy from locals, according to News24.
Surprisingly, some local chiefs and journalists are calling for Eric Aniva’s release, saying his arrest three weeks ago was unjustified.
“Arresting Aniva is like treating the symptoms rather than the disease. Aniva did not go looking for widows and adolescents to sleep with. They hired him. Arresting Aniva will not stop the ‘hyena’ culture,” Jose Safarao, a Malawian journalist, wrote in one of the local dailies.
More about this
The journalist argued that the custodians of the retrogressive culture of sexual cleansing in Malawi will continue to secretly hire male sex cleansers – who are locally referred to as “hyenas”.
“Arrest custodians of the culture. Arrest the parents who accepted that Aniva should sleep with their children. Arrest whole villages, if not the entire tribe, which, in a way, means arrest no one,” Safarao added.
Magistrate Recuses from the Case
Aniva’s case, which was scheduled to start on Monday, was adjourned to a later date after the assigned magistrate stepped down, saying he wants to remain neutral, according to Nyasa Times.
Judge Masanjala announced that he was handing over the case file to the chief resident magistrate who will appoint another magistrate.
Malawian police prosecutor requested for the accused to remain in remand, arguing that he could jump bail if released. His request was upheld, and Aniva was thrown back to remand pending the hearing.
Eric Aniva was arrested on July 26 after he revealed to the BBC that he slept with more than 100 underage Malawian girls and widows without protection despite his HIV positive status.
He is one of many male sex workers in Malawi who are hired to sleep with adolescent girls and widows as part of their sexual cleansing tradition.
The tradition, which is rampant in Chikwawa and Nsanje districts, requires a woman to have sex as a cleansing ritual after her first monthly period and after becoming a widow.
The ritual is usually performed by a selected male, who is paid about $5 to spend three days with the woman.
Unfortunately, “hyenas” are not supposed to use a condom or any form of protection when performing this ritual, thus putting their “clients” at risk of contracting HIV and other STDs or becoming pregnant.