Our good professor and Malawi politics of ‘bloodsucking’ myths

When leaders lack self-awareness, they doubt themselves; uncertain about their abilities; unclear about the direction to take on each turn, and more.” Assegid Habtewold –  The Nine Cardinal Building Blocks: For Continued Success in Leadership

In his book which he touts as his personal essay titled “Dead Toad Scrolls” Kilroy J. Oldster states that a person’s greatest limitations are not genetic, but imposed by self-doubt, insecurities, indecision, and timidity. Indecision is normally what makes a difference between success and failure in life. Even in business, those we call successful businesspersons, all have one common trait which is making bold decisions when it matters most.

President Mutharika in an interface meeting with Mulanje communities on rumours of blood suckers allegations at Mulanje secondary school .-Photo by Francis Mphweya, Mana

This indecisiveness, unfortunately, is one trait that seems to bring Malawi and its people down, always. And our President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika seems not spared of the malaise. Just as has been his style of always coming from behind on issues, after a long wait or to be precise after two months of rumors about ‘bloodsucking’ vampires in Mulanje and the surrounding districts plus a loss of six innocent lives, President Mutharika finally decided to come down his ivory tower to assure people that his government is on top of things in this country and is ready to deal with not only the rumor mongers on this unfortunate incidents but also to face head on the ‘bloodsucking’ vampires themselves.

After his first public speech on the saga, Mutharika also had to put off his political veil and held open court sessions to hear stories and testimonies of ‘victims’. This is really commendable and it is also commendable that the President finally decided to act, and we really have to thank those who managed to joggle the president to notice that the ball is finally in his court.

Interestingly though, and I don’t know whether it was just a coincidence, the President seemed to have only woken up from his usual slumber after some irate villagers in Thyolo pounced and ransacked the house of Olendo Chaponda, one of the nephews to George Chaponda, the Democratic Progressive Party Vice President (South) and former Agriculture Minister. And in a sudden and surprise show of effectiveness the Malawi Police, which has so far not registered a single arrest in all the six murders of the suspected ‘bloodsuckers’, also immediately arrested seven people suspected to be among the irate villagers who attacked Olendo, on suspicion that he was keeping suspected ‘bloodsuckers’.

The President’s behavior is a big concern to most of us who wish that it should not always take a jiggle for Mutharika to jump into action. However, it seems Malawians have resigned to their fate and accepted that our leader is a man who loves leading from behind and always comes in into an issues after others have started the job or people have complained a lot. It really seems, this far there is little we can do as a nation, it is his in born character.

Now with our dear President it is not only about being indecisive when dealing with national issues but he is a man who has this far shown that he lacks self-awareness as a leader; he is a man who seems to always be in doubt and uncertain of his abilities as a President and the powers that were bestowed upon him through the ballot back in 2014. He always seems to be unclear about the direction to take on each turn. The President seems to be insecure and timid all the way.

Mind you our President is a highly trained lawyer but with his showing in the many of his utterances on this ‘bloodsucking’ saga, and when he gathered the said victims of this ‘sad’ ordeal to hear their testimonies, really suck big time. Again someone just reminded me that way back in 2010, the President came back from the USA (that is before he took over that high office from his brother) radiating all over after he won some top international jurist award. However, if truth be told this ‘bloodsucking’ saga has just exposed who Mutharika really is and not someone deserving even a Malawian jurist award at any level. This saga has exposed him just as an overrated lawyer whose standing is no less than first year law student at our good Law School in Zomba.

Our good law professor’s showing has been very depressing. To begin with and any layman would agree this ‘bloodsucking’ saga does not require the President to stage a mickey mouse court where he starred as the prosecutor, defense attorney, judge and jury all wrapped in one. Everyone in their rightful minds know that the made believe stories about ‘bloodsucking’ are but a trash of myths being perpetrated by lazy and backwards citizens of this country whose pass time has always been known as spreading unfounded stories that best benefit their own mental incapacities, and surely Mutharika could have done better than letting himself cartooning all over as the victims of these perceived ‘bloodsuckers’ narrated the figments of their imaginations.

At one of the courts, six people from various areas of the district testified having encountered bloodsuckers in their homes. To us who followed the ‘court’ proceedings could tell that a number of questions were yet to be answered if indeed we are to believe these stories and lay a justification to the brutal killing of six people believed to have been some of those behind this ‘bloodsucking’.

One important favor which the President as the prosecutor, defense attorney, judge and jury could have asked the said victims was to bring to him a lifeless body, certified by medical doctors that the death was indeed caused by excessive loss of blood through some veins holed by these ‘bloodsuckers’. Simple. However, our President chose to play the political game and his verdict was that indeed there are ‘bloodsuckers’ in some corners of the country who need to be dealt with using government machinery including the Malawi Police Service and our armed forces. To our President, some of these ‘bloodsuckers’ have to be dealt with through witchcraft as they are nothing but powers of sorcery and he even boasted that his uncle Paramount Chief Ngolongoliwa is better placed to use his charms to deal with these magical ‘bloodsuckers’. What a shameful display coming from the President, of all people.

It is indeed good that the President has spoken on these sad happenings, though a bit late, but our President’s position; siding with the said ‘victims’ for whatever reason will not help solve the current problem where innocent people are being killed just for rumors. If anything, after the President affirmed that there are really ‘bloodsuckers’ in our communities, we should expect more innocent people being murdered and more development partners continuing withdrawing their personnel from areas that require their hands to move forward.

Some have argued that the President needed not be judgmental and confrontational on such myths against his much reliable voters as that would have portrayed him as a stupid politician and for the sake of votes, the best he was supposed to do is indeed play it cool and handle it with caution without stepping on people’s toes. My foot and what a heartless argument. You mean we should really be playing political game when innocent people are being killed at the hands of some overzealous villagers who cannot even bring a single dead body which has been sucked dry of its blood through magic or some unethical and crude medical procedures? In such circumstances where people are losing lives at the hands of such misguided voters, a leader with a spine could have taken a hard and unpopular stand condemning the killings and directed all his energies and the threats of deploying the Malawi Police Service and the Army to these murderers who are currently hiding behind these myths. With such glaring gaps in the testimonies and without tangible alibi to support their claims, if indeed our President has the leadership spine and meant well for us all, he could have immediately ordered the arrest of those testifying. To me these are the major culprits behind spreading the rumors and even the killings of the six innocent people.

The good Professor’s position on this issue just shows that even the President himself buys the long standing primitive belief that magic powers are real and only succeeded to enhance such a backward conviction which has for a long time been a curse for this country. In short all the president’s narratives from the day he managed to open his mouth to speak on these imaginary ‘bloodsucking’ incidents, have only succeeded in adding weight to the promotion of myths, superstitions, hatred and thuggery in this country.

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6 years ago

I’m surprised the president is propagating the myths being “vowing” to “deal”with these bloodsuckers, instead of teaching people to ont believe such things like Hon Bakili Muluzi did in 2002 when such things arose in his time. If the president acknowledges their existence then people ought to continue the raid of said bloodsuckers

Keen Observer
Keen Observer
6 years ago

Hudson Mphande, firstly I would like to thank you for this story but I find it also not convincing. The only thing I can agree with you is that indeed the the president is indecisive & leads from behind, he took long time to act. The only problem is that people are not going to the root of this problem. Even your publication has got a responsibly, that’s why there are investigative journalists. You’re supposed to investigate & find where & why this what you call myth comes from. It didn’t come today it’s a long time thing. These days… Read more »

6 years ago

Kikkkkkk hahahahaha, you say the president was a judge, prosecutor himself? kikkkkkkkkkk and he is leading us from behind, oh shame!!
Well written story and very true, what is paining me is that i have not seen the person who died after these nonsense stories.
Ku Malawi zidatigwera ndithu.

6 years ago
Reply to  Kaitano

Don’t blame the president for his silence a good leader is not seen by blind people but by God. Those things you claim to be myth they have been happening and may be you are one of its habbers. Witch crafts and satanism they go together including science only that science is witch craft that is done open and at some point helpful like finding out medication for some disease infections etc. But one thing you should know we are living in the world where everything is a myth and for you and me to judge who is wrong its… Read more »

Chris Cross
Chris Cross
6 years ago
Reply to  Mbele

I got to say I did not understand a single word of what you are saying. I am from Europe and back home they make fun of Malawians for believing in witchcraft and bloodsuckers.

The only ones under satanic influence here is those who heartlessly kills innocent people, accusing them of being bloodsuckers.

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