Peter Mutharika
Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika

As Erica Aniva the Hyena languishes in Jail without bond for doing what his village and Village headmen asked him to do, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of women has applauded President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika for his swift response in arresting him.

 

Yes, Erica is ignorant and If he knew the consequences of his actions, he would not have gone to BBC to boast about his exploits. Malawians and westerners that are judging Erica Aniva harshly including Malawi President Peter Mutharika are missing what I would call a teachable moment.

 

Malawi President instead of showing contempt for Erica Aniva and his village, should go to the village and hold a public event where he should explain to the villagers in Nsanje and the nation why what Erica Aniva was doing was wrong. Throwing Erica in jail will not stop the village headmen from recruiting another Erica and continuing with this barbaric tradition.

 

The villagers do not know any better and only talking to them at their level can start eliminating such destructive behavior. These are traditions that have been going on for centuries and arresting one person using British laws will not stop the practice. Our President cannot look down on fellow Malawians instead he needs to use this as a teaching opportunity to people in Nsanje and the whole nation.

 

 

The UN Women further urges Malawi to pursue a long term and coordinated approach towards addressing the sexual initiation of girls. Here again the intentions are good but we continue basing our standards and methods from the Western civilizations. Educate our people with a long term goal of reversing practices that have been passed On from generations to generations.

 

Professor Mutharika ordered the arrest of Aniva following his admission to have been defiling young girls and sleeping with widows in the name of sexual initiation. Erica needed to be arrested this was half the job done. The President needs to address the nation not from a position of looking down on fellow citizens but educating them on some traditions that are destructive.

 

Putting Erica in jail will not solve anything. Just like threatening those killing Albinos with capital punishment will not stop the Barbaric practices. Our leaders Educated in the West have tendencies to see issues from a western prism. Here once again Peter Mutharika should dedicate a long term plan to educate the country against the practices of destructive traditions.

 

“It’s commendable that the Government of Malawi has taken a strong stance against harmful traditional practices, particularly on early child marriage and sexual initiation for girls, and that legislation is being put into effect. Legislation cannot be the only remedy. The people practicing these traditions do not read legislation or even later understand how it applies to them.

 

“UN Women will continue to support the Government of Malawi in promoting the rights of and freedom of women and girls,” reads the statement in part.

 

Mlambo—Ngcuka also pointed out that she looks forward to the conclusion of Anivas case and urged government to pursue a long term and coordinated approach toward addressing the sexual initiation of girls.

 

While we should respect the UN and others who have weighed in on this matter. Mutharika should start looking into long term solutions to educating the nation on traditions that are destructive to their lively hood.

 

Mr President do not miss out on a teachable moment. One has been presented to you on a silver platter. Anger and disgust on your own traditions will not stop practices entrenched in your people. Talk to your people at their level not your high throne looking down at your subjects. These are the people you campaigned to serve.

They need your help not your contempt.

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