Monday June 18, 2018

Magistrate’s Court in Malawi Convicts for 45-year-old man for Traditional but Illegal Sex Custom ‘Hyena’ due to concerns over HIV Infections

Fisi is a traditional custom in southern Malawi: a man is hired and paid to have sex with widows to exorcise evil spirits that may bring death to the bereaved family

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Eric Aniva leaves court in Nsanje, Malawi, after a magistrate announced it was proven beyond reasonable doubt that Aniva had engaged in harmful and illegal traditional sex practices, VOA
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A magistrate’s court in Malawi has convicted a 45-year-old man accused of practicing traditional sex customs — deflowering young girls and comforting bereaved widows — that were outlawed three years ago in the southern African nation.

Malawi’s president, Peter Mutharika, ordered the arrest of Eric Aniva due to concerns that he may have spread HIV infections in the course of his work as a practitioner of “kusasa fumbi,” or “removing dust,” and “fisi,” the local name for a hyena.

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Fisi is a traditional custom in southern Malawi: a man is hired and paid to have sex with widows to exorcise evil spirits that may bring death to the bereaved family.

“Kusasa fumbi” is another custom practiced in the area: hiring a man to sleep with young girls who have reached puberty, in order to prepare them for married life.

Six testified against Aniva

Both of these have been around for centuries, but of course they do not fit in with modern laws and social systems.

Magistrate Innocent Nebi told a jam-packed court Friday that it was proven beyond reasonable doubt that Aniva had engaged in harmful and illegal practices.

One of the six witnesses who testified against the 45-year-old defendant was a woman who said Aniva asked to sleep with her soon after the death of her husband.

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Aniva and his fellow practitioners of “fisi” – sleeping with widows — are known as hyenas, which is what “fisi” means in Chichewa, the most widely spoken language in Malawi. He pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, and told VOA after Friday’s court proceedings that he believes he is still innocent.

“No one complained to the court that I slept with her. And the other thing you should know is that I was doing this before the passing of the law (that outlaws such harmful cultural practices),” Aniva said. “When this law was put into effect, I was given the responsibility of asking my fellow hyenas to stop this practice.”

Harsh sentence requested

Malawi prohibited “fisi” and similar practices in 2013. Aniva says he stopped comforting bereaved widows in 2012.

State prosecutor Chiyembekezo Banda asked the court to give Aniva a harsh sentence, “to serve as lesson to others” who are violating the law.

But Aniva’s lawyer,Michael Goba Chipeta, said Aniva should receive only a suspended prison sentence.

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“Here we are dealing with a cultural practice that has been here for hundreds of years, against a law that is three years old,” said Chipeta. “Culture is a psychological collective element which you cannot just do away with like a switch. I mean, the court should be humane enough when giving punishments against such offenses.”

Appeal is expected

Chipeta said he will likely appeal if the judge disregards his plea.

“We can’t talk much on the details (of an appeal) but most definitely there are issues that we feel are worth appealing against the details which we can discuss after the sentence is done,” said Chipeta.

Aniva faces a maximum term of five years in prison when he is sentenced on Tuesday, November 22. (VOA)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)