Malawi Police arrested seven people suspected to be among irate villagers in Thyolo who on Sunday smashed the house belonging to Olendo Chaponda, a nephew to former minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda, on suspicion that he was keeping suspected blood suckers.
Both Thyolo Police Station spokesman Fredrick Maida and National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera confirmed the incident.
Police said the villagers were alerted about the presence of ‘bloodsuckers’ locally known as ‘anamapopa’ in Nkulira Village in Luchenza, allegedly at Chaponda’s residence.
The villagers then mobilised themselves and stormed Chaponda’s residence where they beat up a security guard and forced themselves into the house.
They also wrecked havoc at Chaponda’s maize mill.
“We have arrested seven suspects and charged them with malicious damage and breaking into a building and committing a felony therein,” said Maida.
Olendo Chaponda described the incident as unfortunate, saying the villagers attacked his house without any basis.
“I have lost property worth close to K10 million,” said Olendo Chaponda.
He said he moved to area in 1979 and there have never been such accusations which he described as bizarre.
Olendo Chaponda, a farmer and businessman, said his family is “traumatised” saying they are sacred to live in their mansion that they may be killed.
“My family has experienced the worst things ever,” he said.
Olendo Chaponda appealed to communities to refrain from mob justice in dealing with such issues and advised people to allow the law take its course.
On Sunday, an angry mob at Namainja Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mabuka in Mulanje roughed two men and in the process killing them on suspicion that they were among the so-called bloodsuckers. The victims were beaten to death without any basis.
Stories of vampires sucking people’s blood in the dead of the night have been circulating in Mulanje for days.
Known locally as ‘anamapopa,’ these fearsome forces are described as using both magical powers as well as modern technology to attack their victims.
Their bizarre methodology is said to involve somehow disabling their target using an electrical charge or chemical substance, removing their blood via an unidentified instrument, and then vanishing in the form of a cat or dog.
District Commissioner for Mulanje, Reinghard Chavula said the rumours have brought a devastating effect on people since residences have always been anxious about strangers in some areas and that they were sleeping outside their homes for fear of being blood sucked.
The development comes after an angry mob on Sunday night in the area of Traditional Authority Mlolo in Nsanje beat to death a village head for suspecting him to be coordinating with alleged blood suckers in the districts.
Malawi Police are dismissing reports of some persons sucking people’s blood, saying the stories were mere speculations from deceitful people designed to instil fear in communities.
Meanwhile, the blood sucking killings have reached six, attracting criticism from human rights campaigners calling on government to treat the matter as a crisis.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :