Mutharika orders arrest of HIV-positive man paid to have sex with virgins in Malawi

2016-07-26 15:45
Malawian president Peter Mutharika . (Thoko Chikondi, AP)

Malawian president Peter Mutharika . (Thoko Chikondi, AP)

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Lilongwe - Malawian President Peter Mutharika has ordered the arrest of Eric Aniva, an HIV-positive man who has the "job" of having sex with virgin girls after they have their first menstruation, Nyasa Times reports.

Aniva, who is in his mid-forties is a man that in Malawian culture is known as a "hyena", which is a man that is paid to have sex with young girls as a form of ritual cleansing.

Sexual cleansing is a common practice in the southern parts of Malawi, with women required to undergo the ritual at various stages in their life, such as if their husband dies or after their husband dies.

Mutharika strongly condemned the sexual practices after the story made international headlines, calling them very disturbing and unacceptable.

Mutharika said in a statement that it was shocking that the ritual was performed, with young girls' parents consenting to the sexual abuse.

"I Am reliably informed that these violations are done under the guise of culture which I find to be very extremely unacceptable," said Mutharika.

News24 reported government officials have expressed opposition to the practice, but with no official legislation in place to protect girls in the region, little can be done to stop the ritual.

In a video interview with the BBC, Aniva said he had slept with over 100 women and girls since he became a "hyena". He has five children of which he has knowledge.

He also admitted that he kept his HIV status a secret when families asked him for his services.

One in 10 people in the southern African nation is HIV-positive.

Mutharika has now ordered the police to immediately arrest Aniva and to investigate all men and parents who are involved in this sexual abuse, saying that harmful cultural practices cannot be tolerated in Malawi.

Read more on:    human rights  |  peter mutharika  |  malawi  |  southeast africa

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