MCP Behind The Blood Suckers Propaganda To Sabotage The Blantyre-Likhubula Water Project
Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is sponsoring people to be spreading lies that there are blood suckers in several districts in the country, and instilling public anger in the people to be killing innocent people on the same baseless blood sucking propaganda as a way of sabotaging the Blantyre-Likhubula water project,it has been revealed.
Government has strongly condemn the barbaric acts by some unruly Malawians who are beating, chasing and killing innocent people in the name of ‘vampires’ calling it as a mere myth, accusing unnamed opposition politicians of exploiting the rumours with the aim of bringing down the regime.
Addressing a news conference in Lilongwe, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Henry Mussa said there was “no evidence that there are blood-suckers.”
Malawi, where witchcraft is widely believed and education standards are low, is regularly dogged by rumours of “vampire” activity.
Many Malawians, especially in the country’s rural south, believe in reports that teams of “blood suckers” are murdering poor people on a nightly basis, draining their blood and selling it to international aid agencies in return for food.
Vague in all but the nastiest details, the bizarre stories have become so widespread that the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President George Chaponda’s nephew, Olendo, is accused of harbouring the vampires and villagers ransacked property at his mansion in Thyolo.
According Mussa the rumours of “anamapopa” in Mulanje has the potential to derail government’s effort under his ministry in promoting the country as a tourism destination but also as a preferred destination for foreign and direct investment.
“No tourist or investor would like to come to a country whose citizens are attacking others due to such misguided beliefs. I would like therefore to ask and warn all those involved to stop this malpractice immediately since this practice is tarnishing the image of our beautiful country,” Mussa said.
On his part, Minister of Information who is also government spokesperson, Nicholous Dausi blamed the whole issue on opposition political parties and some Civil Society Organizations as perpetrators of the saga with an aim of tarnishing the image of the government and to buy sympathy from the poor Malawians in the affected districts.
“As government we condemn the barbaric behavior which is happening in Mulanje and Nsanje of killing innocent people believed to be blood suckers, we want to tell the nation that these claims are not true,” Dausi said.
Dausi told reporters that it is very strange that those political parties who are fond of making noise on any issue even those less important issues have been quiet on blood suckers, yet people are being attacked and six lives has been lost, enough evidence to conclude that they are the ones behind all the attacks and rumours with ill intentions.
“We have 55 political parties and over 515 CSOs in the country many of these are always in the media speaking on a number of issues, accusing government even on silly issues but to our surprise these people are all quiet yet six lives has been lost, investors are being chased, goods and properties of some innocent people are being ransacked.
“There’s one person called Lawrence Sitolo in Nsanje who alleges got an SMS on his phone threatening him and that others were asking him to join DPP with money, MCP were all over blaming government, its president wrote donor community on a thing which had no basis and a mere fabrication but now people are being killed through mob justice and what have they done, remain quiet, were watching we know some of the parties and CSOs are behind this.”
The Minister said since the rumour started making rounds, government has directed the police and members of private security organizations to make sure that there is a twenty four hour surveillance to find out who is behind this immoral behavior.
“We are working on the ground with the police to find out who is behind this, and mark my words, we will catch them,” said Dausi adding that government would not let innocent souls lost because of some beliefs which are not true at all.
He added that as a nation people needed to come together in sensitizing people in those areas that there are no blood suckers.
“I am calling upon chiefs, faith based organizations, members of parliament, councilors, teachers and the business community to come together to sensitizing people that there is no such a thing as blood suckers. You can imagine that one person, a lady, was killed because he had a lipstick which was suspected to be an instrument used to suck blood, that’s unfortunate,” Dausi said.
While conquering with Dausi, Mussa said it is very disturbing to have people behind what he calls unfortunate actions which will have very negative impact on the nation’s image if not well handled and warned that if those that have been arrested implicates any politician or CSO as to be behind the whole issue, government will not hesitate but to bring that one to book.
“I want to concur with my fellow cabinet minister in condemning the recent acts of mob justice on fellow Malawians and the touring Belgian couple who have obviously been mistaken for blood suckers in Mulanje, Phalombe districts and surrounding areas,” Mussa said.
He further said stories of blood sucking in the country are mere rumors which have been making rounds from sometime back and should not be believed.
“The prevailing vampire paranoia situation in Mulanje and surrounding areas has the potential to derail our efforts in promoting our country as a tourism destination but also as preferred destination for foreign and direct investment,” Mussa explained.
Mussa then challenged those who have evidence that their relative or anyone blood was sucked to come forward.
Vigilantes have so far killed six people suspected of trying to obtain and drink human blood as part of magic rituals since mid-September, according to police.
The six people were killed in three separate incidents in the area surrounding Mulanje Mountain.
The most recent attack came on Sunday when an angry mob beat two people to death because they “suspected the two (victims) of being blood suckers”, said police spokesperson James Kadadzera.
The victims were travelling to pray close to the mountain when they were intercepted by a violent crowd on their way through a village.
In another incident, Kadadzera said a local chief was killed by a group accusing him of colluding with men suspected of consuming human blood.
The United States embassy in Malawi has temporarily withdrawn its team of Peace Corps volunteers from the four districts bordering Mulanje and advised its citizens not to visit the area.
In a statement, the embassy blamed “ongoing acts of vigilante justice stemming from rumours of persons attempting to siphon blood from local residents for ritualistic use.”