Hearing in the appeal case involving infamous Nsanje ‘hyena’ Eric Aniva has failed to start today as presiding Judge Sylvester Kalembera is in Uganda on official duties.
The Blantyre Magistrate’s court in November last year sentenced Aniva to two years imprisonment on charges of indulging in harmful cultural practices and an attempt to commit the same offence contrary to Section 5 sub-sections 1-2 of Gender Equality Act of 2013.
However, Aniva who has now spent a year and four months in jail appealed against his conviction and sentence.
In his appeal application dated January 17, 2017 Aniva through lawyer Goba Chipeta indicated that the lower court erred in sentencing him as the convictions on which the sentences were based were erroneous and wrong in principle.
“The lower court held that the practice of Kulowa Kufa is a harmful practice as defined under the Gender Equality Act when there was no evidence supporting the court’s reasoning and conclusion,” reads the petition of appeal in part.
It also indicated that the prosecution had failed to prove an essential element of the offence and that the totality of the evidence before the court showed that Aniva’s conduct did not amount to the alleged attempt.
According to our sources from the court, another date will be set after the judge returns on October 23.
Aniva confessed in an interview with BBC on July 21 to have slept with 104 women and girls in a form of ritual cleansing.
The revelations prompted President Peter Mutharika to order his arrest and that of all hyenas.
The 46-year-old was consequently arrested on July 25, 2016.