The practice of “widow cleansing” in Malawi, one that required a widow to have sex after her husband dies, was outlawed a few years ago.
Eric Aniva, 45, known in Malawi as a “hyena”, admitted to having unprotected sex with more than 100 women and girls without disclosing his HIV status.
In Malawi, a “hyena” is paid to have sex with bereaved widows to exorcise evil spirits and to prevent other deaths occurring.
At the request of a girl’s parents, the “hyena” is also paid to have sex with adolescent girls to mark their passage to womanhood after their first menstruation.
Aniva’s shocking revelations attracted the attention of President Peter Mutharika, who then ordered that the “hyena” be arrested.
Mr Mutharika had wanted that he be tried for defiling young girls, but none came forward to testify against him.
Instead, he was tried for “harmful cultural practice” under section five of Malawi’s Gender Equality Act, for having sex with new widows.