An HIV-positive Malawian man has been sentenced to 24 months in jail with hard labour, after being found guilty for having unprotected sex with newly bereaved widows.
Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika had ordered the arrest of Eric Aniva, a sex worker known locally as a “hyena”, after he admitted in a BBC interview to having sex with more than 100 women and underage girls and not disclosing his HIV status.
His lawyer, Michael Goba Chipeta, said Aniva would appeal against the conviction and the sentence.
The practice of “widow cleansing”, when a widow must have sex after her husband dies, was outlawed a few years ago.
Aniva was the subject of a BBC feature into various sexual cleansing practices in Malawi.
The president had wanted him tried for defiling young girls, but none came forward to testify against him.
Instead Aniva was tried for “harmful cultural practice” under section five of Malawi’s Gender Equality Act for having sex with new widows.