Mutharika engages “victims” of blood suckers ….. as he calls for calm amid qualms
By Penelope Paliani- Kamanga
MULANJE – IN what is a first in Malawi’s history amidst fears of “blood suckers”, President Peter Mutharika this week held public inquiries with the alleged victims in a bid to get to the bottom of the issue.
During the separate inquiries, men and women of Phalombe, Mulanje, Chiradzulu and Thyolo districts in the southern part of Malawi took turns to tell the president how they were having sleepless nights because of constant attacks by the alleged blood suckers.
Those who had their properties destroyed by mobs suspecting them of harbouring the bloodsuckers also met the president.
But almost all testimonies from the districts did not give a clear picture of the existence of blood suckers in the district expect for the fact that the victims fainted after smelling a strange foul that had been allegedly sprayed in the rooms magically.
One woman from Mulanje sent people, including the President, into a frenzy after she revealed that she had to strip naked in order to see the alleged blood suckers.
“It is believed that they can only be visible when one is naked,” stated the woman.
In his response during the inquiry, Mutharika called the people in the affected districts to be calm and maintain peace while government was looking into the issue of the alleged blood suckers, adding that he has set up a ministerial committee to investigate.
District committees have also been established to help tackle the blood sucking rumour.
The President said he was personally concerned with the bloodsucker’s issue that is causing unrest among other people in affected areas.
His concerns come after a number of people have been arrested in the district for vandalising traditional leaders’ houses and government property, which includes a hospital ambulance which some villagers alleged was being used by the alleged blood suckers and for also killing people who they suspected to have been blood suckers or friends of blood suckers.
“Let me assure you that my government is carefully looking into the matter and it will come up with a lasting solution very soon. In the meantime, I urge every one of you to stay calm and be good citizens who love and protect one another,” said the President.
He urged the communities not to take the law into their own hands when they come across any person suspected to be part of the alleged blood sucking saga but surrender them to the police.
The police have since beefed up security in the affected districts in the Southern Region with uniformed and undercover police officers investigating the alleged activities.
Vocal paramount chief Ngolongoliwa of Thyolo has since bemoaned the blood sucking fears, saying they are affecting the development of the country since a number of activities such as education are being affected.
Paramount chief Ngolongoliwa said it was not possible for people to concentrate on developmental activities amid fears that their blood will be sucked.
However, he warned those involved in the acts which he termed “magical” that they were walking in their last days of disturbing peace in the country.
“Let me warn those involved in this magic that we are not going to just sit down as chiefs and watch them disturb our peace.
We chiefs know well what to do and be assured that we will put this to rest in a matter of weeks,” emphasized the Lhomwe paramount chief.
Chairperson for Phalombe District Council, Kalepa Mawere, hailed the President for personally visiting the district to appreciate the extent of the problem.
Malawi has seen the exchange of four presidents but this is the first time a sitting President has directly engaged the people on the ground giving them a chance to share the experiences without fear or blockage in a bid to find solutions.