Malawi’s Hyena Arrested As Investigation Starts Over Sex Cleansing Ceremonies

The hyena, who featured in a BBC story as one involved in the sex cleansing ceremony that ushers young girls into adulthood by having sex with them, has been captured and detained by his country’s authorities.

According to a government spokesman, Eric Aniva was seized on President Peter Mutharika’s orders.

He said Mr Aniva, locally called “hyena,” was detained for dishonouring girls, and would face charges for violating children’s rights.

Reports also said that the president is heavily concerned about the shocking disclosure made in the story and has sworn to end the traditional practice.

In effort to come true with his words, President Peter Mutharika directed the police and traditional leaders to look into the matter in order to arrest “all men and parents” involved in the practice of hiring “hyenas” to have sex with girls after their first menstruation.

Eric Aniva and his family

His office said:

“All people involved in this malpractice should be held accountable for subjecting their children and and women to this despicable evil.

“These practices not only cast a shadow on the hard-earned achievements my government has made on issues such as violence and HIV prevention but they also go against a vision of development that seeks to ensure that the youth, and in particular young girls, are able to achieve their full potential.  Furthermore, these horrific practices although done by a few also tarnish the image of the whole nation of Malawi internationally and bring shame to us all.”

Mr. Aniva, who is married with two wives of which one was a widowed woman before she married him, said he had slept with about 104 girls – though he has obviously lost count – and that he was HIV positive.

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The president said:

“And since Mr Eric Aniva confesses to be HIV positive and that he never uses protection in his evil acts against the innocent girls and women, he should further be investigated for exposing the young girls to contracting HIV and further be charged accordingly.”

The repulsive story that brought the sex cleansing practice in Malawi was not welcomed by many people.

The sex cleansing practice is a traditional custom, endorsed and funded by some communities in southern Malawi, but the government has been trying to stop it.

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More disturbing is the fact that the man is hired in some communities in southern Malawi to also sleep with widows before their husbands are buried, as well as women who have had an abortion.

Mr Aniva or his lawyers are yet to comment since his detention.