Malawi in­tro­duces law in sex crimes crack­down

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

LILONGWE — Malaw­ian Pres­i­dent Peter Mutharika has an­nounced the in­tro­duc­tion of tougher leg­is­la­tion against sex of­fend­ers, in a crack­down on sex crimes in the coun­try, Nyasa Times re­ports.

Speak­ing dur­ing an in­ter­view with the BBC, Mutharika claimed that his gov­ern­ment would be tak­ing strong ac­tion against so-called “hye­nas” — sex­ual preda­tors who are paid to have sex with young girls as part of a “cleans­ing” prac­tice.

Re­act­ing to the story of Eric Aniva, an HIV-pos­i­tive “hyena” who has ad­mit­ted to hav­ing sex with over 100 young women and girls, to train girls to be­come “good wives”, Mutharika or­dered the draft­ing of tougher leg­is­la­tion to curb sex abuses in the south­ern African na­tion.

“I have in­structed the Min­is­ter of Jus­tice to start pre­par­ing a draft pa­per which will form a base of leg­is­la­tion which will be pre­sented be­fore the cabi­net, and then we will have new leg­is­la­tion govern­ing some of these [cul­tural] prac­tices,” said Mutharika.

De­spite be­ing harshly crit­i­cised over the ar­rest of Aniva, Mutharika has de­fended his de­ci­sion, say­ing that it was a “wise” move to have the man ar­rested and in­ves­ti­gated due to sex­ual mis­con­duct on his part.

Edge Kany­on­golo, a con­sti­tu­tional law ex­pert at Chan­cel­lor Col­lege, has pre­vi­ously kicked against Mutharika’s or­der­ing of Aniva’s ar­rest, claim­ing that the di­rec­tive in­sti­tuted an abuse of power.

He ar­gued that the Malaw­ian con­sti­tu­tion did not give the pres­i­dent the right to in­ter­fere with the op­er­a­tions of in­de­pen­dent agen­cies, such as the po­lice.

Po­lice in the coun­try’s Nsanje district are cur­rently on the hunt for nine other sus­pects, also be­lieved to be “hye­nas”, who are thought to be hid­ing out in caves. — AFP

Pres­i­dent Peter Mutharika

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