Five Jehovah’s Witnesses arrested in Malawi for refusing give blood to terminally ill child

Five people who under the guise of religious belief refused to donate blood to an anaemic family member are under police custody in Mangochi after hospital officials sought for their intervention in order to save the life of a seven-year old child.

Failure to provide a child with necessities contravenes Section 242 of the Malawi Penal Code, and the police have said that the accused will appear before the court to answer to a charge of failing to provide necessities to a child under their care soon.

The five, who all belong to Jehova’s Witness faith include his father Simon Kamwendo. The others are grandfather Bernard Kamwendo, brothers Solomon and Divason Mwabwino,and an uncle Byson , from Mapata Village in Traditional Authority Mponda in the district.

Mangochi Police Station Public Relations Officer Rodrick Maida confirmed the arrest, saying they acted after Medical Doctors at Koche Health Centre in Maldeco reported the case to Makolola Police Unit.

“We arrested the five following a report from Koche Clinic which asked for our intervention in the matter whereby these people were refusing to donate blood to a patient who needed to be saved from dying,” Mangochi PRO said.

It is said that the child was diagnosed of Malaria and that he was anaemic hence the need to have blood transfusion and the resistance by his relations forced the hospital officials to seek the intervention of the law enforcers.

During the one party rule the Jehova Witness believers were forced to go into exile because of their questionable beliefs that included denial to pay for the mandatory party card that the then ruling Malawi Congress Party agents, the youth enforced.

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49 thoughts on “Five Jehovah’s Witnesses arrested in Malawi for refusing give blood to terminally ill child”

  1. Kuchitekete says:

    All those who call upon Jehovah’s name will be saved.Apolisi nanu pali chomangila anthu pamanepa mwasowa chochita ku Mangochiko eti! You Doctors, please use alternatives right now

    1. Delineator says:

      Is Malawi returning to the policies of former president H.Kamuzu Banda? I certainly hope not!

  2. Rick says:

    Well the logical next step is to strap them down and remove the blood by force. Is that what the authorities are proposing? Are those in favor of this action prepared to take this to the logical consequence?

  3. Delineator says:

    People have been told in the past by medical “experts” that they will die without a blood transfusion. Some, even after the transfusion still die from their malady. So the whole premise that without blood this child will die is not necessarily fact. Obeying God’s very distinct laws about not eating blood or taking it into ones body is all this family has done! Genesis 9:3,4; Leviticus 17:13-16; Acts 15:28,29.

  4. Joel says:

    Ignorance is bliss…it’s written: in judgement day the flies will enter your opened mouths saying ‘but what happened”…but it will be too late…

  5. s.nila says:

    I pray god that the arrested family members release very soon

  6. YANKHO MAJIGA says:

    Iwe @ RESEACHER, The greatest command is to Love Jehovah God with all your haert!! Yes, love. Do you know that there is a scripture in the Bible which says. ……” a person who has greater affection for his son than me is not worthy of me”.Mathews 10v37. please read this verse It was one of Jesus’ teaching which gives us a lesson on what it means to love God first. However Jesus did not mean that we must not love our parents or children, but rather he is helping us to also appreciates that sometimes we may fail to take the right course in christianity just because of some circumstances that can arsisen from our parents or our children or even our spouses. So take heart have faith that Jehovah God is the only source of life and saviour. Remember Job, he was about to. denounce his faith but he kept strong to. bliving that Jehovah is the source of whatever he had, including his life. What was the result? Please follow me fo more discusions. at

  7. YANKHO MAJIGA says:

    Iwe @jfmbIII, The lesson we get from the story of a good Samaritan is about neighbourl Love, not killing orcsaving somenes life. Please kumamvetsetsaziphunzitso za baibulo, osamalitembenuza kuti ligwilizane ndimmene ukuganizira. Read Acts 15v 28,29 its amongst the verses that Jehovah said we must abstain from Blood. So the choice is yours. Imagine your God is telling you to stop eating a certain food that you love the most, eventually after some days you feel ill and the Doctor tells you that the treatment to yur sickness is that same food that your God stoped you from eating, and that if you dont, you have only seven days to live; Whose order will you follow? That of your Doctor or your God. Following the order of one between the two, will show which persin you value the most as the wisest and reliable.
    Christians are to obey God uncondiionally, even if it means loosung their lives, He is the giver of it and the saver. Imagine if you were Abraham, would you obey by killing your only son as per Gods order? I doubt you would. Abraham had a very strong faith in Jehivah thats why he did not resent in wha God commanded him to do. A Christu, please lets wise up!! Obey Jehovahs commandments for it mean loving him and his commandments are not burdensome,; 1 John 5v3. Osamangotengeka ndi zamziko, komanso asamangochita manda ndi zilizonse, stand strong and solid to your faith. find me at [email protected]

  8. fjmbIII says:

    @ ayu: go and read the story about the good samaritan. is it better to kill or to save life if i may ask?

  9. ENLIGHTENED says:

    Jehovah’s Witnesses love includes “shunning” your own family members if they leave your religion.

    Did you know that while you would not buy a “party card” in Malawai, they did so in other countries, while your wives and daughters were raped and killed for not doing so.

    How’s that for “new Light”.

  10. precious Mbale says:

    wow!these guys are heartless!failing to help a person of there own blood due to religion?THAT IS NOT LOVE.

  11. chatonda says:

    Is this the new policy that who ever refuses to donate blood should be arrested? What is this now in Malawi?

  12. apundi says says:

    bodza, Mulungu sakalanga munthu chifukwa choti anathandizira munthu wina kumpatsa magazi in order to save life. Mulungu amafuna kuti tithandizane kupewa imfazi

  13. ayu says:

    it is unfortunate that most people say something bad about others even before they have facts. I always pity with most who just follow their religious leaders blindly. We, Jehovah’s Witnesses, do not follow things blindly. Thats why we are so different from many who profess to be Christian. We strive to obey our heavenly Father, Jehovah, with all our heart, body and soul. We obey God, not only when its conducive to do so, but even when we face death. We strive to imitate Jesus Christ who obeyed God up to the end if his life. One of the ways we show God we obey Him 100% is by obeying His commands, one if which is to “abstain from blood”. Zangovuta kuti we are very poor in Malawi but tgere are other alternatives to blood transfusions. A lot more doctors in the developed world are using these alternatives. Jehovah’s Witnesses love their children, wives and all people around them. Infact one of our mark is love between us, regardless of status, tribe, race etc. But, we do not want to violate Jehovah’s commands just to show our love to others. We’ve hope that all those who obey Jehovah’s commands to the end will be resurrected in the near future. As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we believe that by obeying God rather than men, we please our heavenly Father. Politicians such as Kamuzu, Idu Amin, Hitler etc, will come, persecute JWs and will go but Jehovah and His servants will remain. We are 100% sure that we’ve the Truth in us as we no longer believe in such unscriptural teachings as Trinity, hell fire, purgatory, Mary veneration, Christimas, Easter, predestination, nationalism, etc. Please visit and you will appreciate spiritual truth found on this website.

  14. snaiper says:

    Why why last time mangochi district health officer was talking on radio saying that mangochi district hospital has enough surplus of blood, why koche didnt reffer tht pt there as they do wth other pt.

  15. me says:

    so these people are now using the bible as a scientific reference ? Its interesting how christians are choosy about which laws in the bible to follow and which ones not. These parents are certainly denying the child to life. In case when there are religion beliefs converging with human rights, such religions should not be considered legitimate.

  16. zphiri says:

    Mwina nkhaniyi sinalembedwe bwino, anthuwa amangidwa chifukwa AMAKANIZA ACHIPATALA KUTI AMUPATSE MAGAZI MWANAYO. Makolo/relatives are the ones who authorize the hospital to perform a procedure on their children/young ones. But when the relatives said no, that’s when the hospital staff reported to the Police. The hospital know the child has a chance to survive.

    #21 gave stats (whereever you got them) that only 3/10 survive – what you must understand is that if you were to know that you will die at a given date in future you cannot say it is the same as just dying now!!. Every body wants to live every second that is available – the longer the better! So whether olandira magazi die after a short time or not sinkhani. This is why people take ARVs pofuna KUTALIKITSA moyo.

  17. del horno says:

    palibe mlandu apa….ngt mumatsatadi bible mupeza kt its wrong to share blood…ambirinu ndinu afalisi ongolankhula zopanda nzeru…kwamulungu apa palibe mlandu koma kwama bloodclats mwaona ngti mukagawa magazi mwalungama mxiew…get the facts straight, blood no blood ,none can save ones life on the creator can save life for he is the one who give

  18. Norbert Kotrla says:

    you must be joking. There are no others that can donate??? I don’t believe that your constitution would have such a “stone age” attitude?

  19. Robin says:

    No one in the civilized world is forced to have intrusive procedures done to themselves to help anyone else. Mlawai, must br hell.

  20. Patrick Majoni says:

    Nde Kumalawi kumeneko…….kaaya……………..Olungama saziwika.Mipingoyi njongobwera iyi.Bible ndi nkhalango.Bible limodzi,mipingo mbweee! zikhulupiliro zosiyana.Nde mzungu ameneyo nkubwera ndi Bible,kenaka ma Human rights – basi ife nkumanyozana ndi kumangana tokhatokha.

  21. Patrick Majoni says:

    Nde Kumalawi kumeneko…….kaaya……………..

  22. Phiri says:

    There are dangerous substances associated with blood transfusion, so Jehovah’s Witnesses do not give and accept blood by following the command in the bible as stated on ACTS 15;29… Keep abstaining from blood. Kuika magazi muthupi lamunthu ndi chimodzimodzi kudya magazi… Tiyerekeze kuti doctor wakuletsa kumwa mowa, kodi munganene kuti simuzimwa mowa koma mungotenga jackson wolowetsa mowa mnthupi? Mwachidziwikire simungatero. Similary, abstaining from blood means not taking it into our bodies in any way. So the command to abstain from blood means that we would not allow anyone to transfer blood into our veins

  23. Tiko says:

    Out of every 10 people who receive blood only 3 survive. The other 7 die. Ask Malawi Blood Transfusion they will tell u this. Why do they die anyway, and who will accountable for their death. A JW sapanga zinthu mwachiumbulimbuli. Nyasatimes tell us what comes out from court justice. The good thing is, there are alternatives. In modern coun tries blood is no longer needed for transfusion in hospitals especially surgery. Malawi mkaona ali osauka theretu. Udani wa chipembedzo udakula.

  24. Genesis 9:4 Lembalo limati ” Koma musadye nyama pamodzi ndi magazi ake,amene ndiwo moyo wake”

    Levitiko 17 : 14 Lembalo limati ” Musamadye magazi a nyama iliyonse,chifukwa moyowa nyama ina ili yonse ndi magazi ake. Aliyense wodya magaziwo ayenera kuphedwa” Mulungu amaona kuti moyo wa nyama ndi wake ndipo uli m’magazi.

    Machitidwe 15 : 20 . Lembali limati ” Pewani magazi.

    Timapewa magazi osati posonyeza kunvera Mulungu basi koma posonyeza kumulemekeza popeza ndi mulunguyo amene amapeleka moyo.

    log in to or i.e Chichewa & English respectively. IYou will find any answer about Jehovah’s Witness

  25. Jacques says:

    “Forty-eight pediatric open heart surgical procedures were performed with bloodless techniques regardless of surgical complexity.” The children were as small as 10.3 pounds. “Because of consistent success in Jehovah’s Witnesses and the fact that blood transufsion carries a risk of serious complications, we are currently performing most of our pediatric cardiac operations without transfusion.” – Circulation, September 1984.

  26. JW says:

    If only these people knew about the double standards they are subjected to they may reconsider their position of loyalty. Some years ago in Malawi, Thousands of jw’s were made to suffer severe abuses even death because they were told they could not obtain a simple Political card, Yet at the same time in Mexico the Loving Governing Body allowed the mexican brothers to not only get a Political card they were even allowed to bribe military officials.
    Such a loving organisation!….. makes interesting reading…

  27. We must realize that there are rights of different degrees. the right to life is one of the greatest and cannot be traded off with the freedom of worship so these people have a case to answer. We must recognize that the right to life has to be protected under whatever circumstance

  28. Mgonapamuhanya says:

    The article says the child was terminally ill, why give blood to a terminally ill patient. Does the author understand the meaning of the adverb, “terminally”? Malawians blinded by political and religious hatred when the rest of the world is moving forward. Poor people think poorly.

    1. Parton says:

      Malawi is sooo poor they don’t even know ’bout other medical alternatives instead of this blood transfusion thing.We,JW’s DON’T do BLOOD TRANSFUSION and isn’t because we ain’t got love BT because we comply with the scriptures!

  29. Mgonapamuhanya says:

    The article is incomplete and does not make any sense to me. Did the grandfather, father and uncle obstruct medical care-givers on duty from assisting the sick child? Were they arrested for negligence? If yes, how come the child was found in a hospital? Do negligent parents take their children for medical treatment? Are there alternatives to blood transfusion? I can see nothing but religious hatred in all this. For those of you who are saying that Jehovah’s Witnesses are not christians, then I don’t know what is your definition of a christian. JW’s believe that Jesus is the son of God upon whom all the authority has been vested to judge the world. They don’t believe that Jesus is God as you do and that is what sets you apart.

  30. Shasha says:

    Those of you who are saying Witnesses’ beliefs are baseless may read the following verses from the Bible:

    Deuteronomy 12: 23 – 25- There is a prohibition of blood consumption (that includes transfusion)
    Leviticus 7: 26, 27 – There is another prohibition of blood to God’s servants
    Acts 15:29 – There is another blood consumption prohibition.

    It’s these verses that we follow when we don’t take blood into our bodies through whatever means. This is our Bible based faith.
    If the worse becomes to the worst, we follow what our fellow believers did as recorded at Acts 5 : 28, 29.

    For those willing to know more I am on [email protected].

  31. M'doko says:

    Lets respect someones freedom to asociate

  32. Kanyimbi says:

    Malamulo a mpingo osati a Mulungu. Bwino nayo mipingo inayi.

  33. Prophet Abubakar says:


  34. RESEARCHER says:

    1 Cor. 13:13 On this verse there is three things; Faith, Hope and Love but the greatest of all these three is LOVE. Despite that , not donating blood is the Faith of Jehovahs Witness what am seeing here is the lack of Love. I donk know how people manage to leave their relatives dying in their presence yet they have a part to play to recover the life of a sick person. So pathetic and very shame to a irresponsible father, but all in all lets leave in the hands of God the true judge.

  35. moyenda maulidi says:

    amangidwe onse ndi olakwa

  36. tiko says:

    Why arresting them,its there right to religion,leave them with there belief

  37. Wizeman Paul says:

    Kamuzu ananena kale za amboni. Search kamuzu against mboni mumva zonse.

  38. The Brother leader Ahmad jamahirya juma says:

    Kodi ndi verse iti imakana kupereka magazi?
    Anthu awa amaika malamulo awo koma amakana malamulo ayehova

  39. floodgate says:

    Sindikukhalira kumbuyo anthuwo koma sungamange munthu chifukwa akuna kugwa magazi ache,penapake Malawi police ncthito yanu imakulepherani

    1. Ine monga m’modzi wa Mboni za Yehova, sindizadya, kuthiridwa kapena kupereka magazi kwa munthu aliyense chifukwa magazi ndiwo moyowo (Deuteronomo 12;23,24) komanso Yehova amadana nazo (Levitiko 7;26,27) ndie kuthiridwa magazi chimodzimodzi kudya magazi. Munthu amene amakhulupilira kut akafa adzauka sangalore kuthiridwa magazi.

  40. Chris Banda says:

    Mr sub T/A Jehova’s witness are not christians,ask ur sheiks

    1. Kanthu Ako! says:

      What do mean they are not Christians?

      They are as Christian as CCAP, Catholic etc. Catholics refuse contraception, where in the Bible is that.

      Others celebrate Christmas Jehovah’s Witnesses do not, because they understand the historic origin of it. it is not Christian, but they celebrate easter.

      Given a choice Jehovah’s witnesses are more credible that most.

  41. Sub T/A says:

    Jehovas witness in Mangochi at least people who like to criticize Muslims can now believe that Mangochi is not for Muslims only now look what your fellow christians are doing what is your say today because you hate the true religion for the love of the world…am waiting for your comments

    1. BBC says:

      The key word in the article is ‘donate’. Do we have to arrest or punish someone for failing to donate something? The charge sheet should be changed by crapping the word ‘donate’.

    2. o'Betha says:

      Jehovah’s Witnesses are not Christians iwe

  42. Name*sammy says:

    Ichi si chipembedzo bola gule wamkulu.agologolo amenewo ndipo aphedwe.

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