Kangaroo Court: Bloodsuckers’ finger-pointing is immoral

Introduction 

The material subject on the plenary is the befuddling rumour of serial vampire syndicate taking root in the southern part of Malawi. Based on definitive independent cases reported by both print and electronic media, blood suckers, hereinafter referred to as Anamapopa (and/or Nampopa for singular denotation), are viciously terrorizing defenceless citizenry in districts of Mulanje, Chikhwawa, Thyolo, Zomba and, lately, Blantyre City.

The epicentre of these rumours from where to the rest has spread being in Mulanje, specifically at Tradition Authorities (TAs)Mthiramanja and Mabuka. The alleged mysterious bloodsucking incidences have, thus, raised adrenaline profiles of the terrorized local inhabitants who have, in a bid to repel the alleged attacks,organized themselves into vigilantes, engaging into hunting for and punishing suspects of the said vampirism. Consequently, those who, unfortunately, got pinpointed as suspects have been lynched to death by the said vigilante mobs. 

Some have narrowly escaped their untimely deaths by fate of grace and in some incidences police rescue. Down the timeline of this saga, both the government and wanton individuals have raised accusations against some individuals and parties as being behind the said Dracula activities or rumours thereof. Victims of such accusations include the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the super-rich Malawi-born Prophet Shepherd Bushiri who resides and operates from the Republic of South Africa.

Facts of the matter  

On the 13th Day of September, 2017, news broke out, in the public domain, of terror acts by suspected vampires in Mulanje. In a more less expected fashion, the revelations were completely neglected and swiftly perceived, by a large segment of the court of public opinion, as a ‘hoax and/or mythically-inspired hallucinationsThe educated and half-educated elites dismissed the tidings as consequences of illiteracy and poverty combined.With escalating tensions and some further allegations on the issue, it was becoming more and more clear that the affected locals were not relenting on registering their case as they continually pledged to defend themselves, and overtly did so,until Malawi Police Service (MPS) intervened into the matter. On Saturday, the 16th Day of September, 2017, the MPS through its National Spokesperson, James Kadzadzera, converged a press briefing. In their communique, the alleged syndicate was dismissed as a ‘hoax’, calling it, ‘unsubstantiated timeimmemorial rumours by the illiterate populace. In an illustrative and illuminating dictum, Mr. Kadzadzera said;

We are reminding people that rumours of blood suckers have been there since time immemorial and no case has ever been proven.

Utterances by MPS were well backed by a press briefing that was organized by Minister of Information, Hon. Nicholas Dausi,as well as the Honourable Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Henry Mussa (MP). The two honourable ministers discarded the Anamapopa allegations in their entirety without an inch of compromise. The Malawi Law Society was not left behind. It, too, erected to categorically dismiss the bloodsucking rumours calling them witchcraft myths and proceeded to say that according to Witchcraft Act, witchcraft, in Malawi, does not exist hence the said bloodsucking is an illusion. On the eve of the 19th Day of September, 2017, however, Mrs. Chimwemwe Sikova, a permanent resident of Mzizira village, TA Mthiramanja brought forward allegations that he had been attacked by Nampopa. He alleged that a sharp piercing edged wedge was used to protrude his forehead from where blood was sucked. The aftermath of Sikova’s revelation saw a traffic of unverified similar claims and reports in some parts of Mulanje and Phalombe. The resultant effect of these revelations was a crack in the court of public opinion as to whether the allegations were legally sound and adequate to be adduced from in case establishments.   

Issues under determination

Therefore, it is within judicial discretion and autonom jurisdiction of this court to make final determination on the following matters of public interest; 

1. Whether Vampirism is real and happening in the southern part of Malawi
2. Whether Malawi Police Service was right to entirely discard alleged blood sucking scheme without any investigation. 
3. Whether police purported action/or decision contravened right to life of alleged victims and any person within proximity of danger. 
4. Whether there is some political underhand in this vampirism syndicate
5. Whether the finger-pointing business, by the government and other agencies, towards counter political parties and individuals is moral, valid and justifiable.

The Law and discussion of issues

1. Whether vampirism is real and happening in Malawi

In dismissing the bloodsucking rumours, the distinguished Malawi Law Society (MLS)relied upon the declaration ofWitchcraft Act (1911) which was premised on the belief that witchcraft does not exist. The assumption of the MLS was that vampirism is witchcraft. This court shall discuss this in detail in the forgoing, but of a significant quick notice is the existence ofan English legal instrument called  Supernatural Enforcement and Protection Act (SEPA) which was introduced in 1952 in England. The importance of mentioning England will be left to be appreciated by those in the legal discipline, otherwise for the rest of you readers it is as good to jump this statement. This instrument recognizes the actual existence of vampires as supernatural creatures which feed on blood. 

According to the SEPA, if a human ingest what is called vampiric ichor, vampiric infection is propagated to that human. The infected human (referred to as a supplicant) lapses into a coma shortly after ingestion and revives approximately 12 hours later as a vampire. Available data indicates that a vampire, regardless of age or physical size, need to consume an average of 2.5L of mammalian blood every 72 hours. The required blood is obtained via application of the vampire’s canine teeth to the donor’s neck, typically positioned to puncture the carotid artery. The bite simultaneously provides a steady flow of blood to the vampire and doses the donor with venom that suppresses pain, promotes docility and acts as a fast-acting blood coagulant.

Ladies and gentlementhis Court is labouring to explain all this simply to present scientific facts that approve the reality andexistence of vampires or bloodsuckers. This level of science has not been propagated by illiterate people. It is highly educated scientists who generated these scientific facts. Thus if the acts of witchcraft, as discussed in the Witchcraft Act can not be provedto exist for their want of scientific support, then certainly, we must distance the acts of bloodsucking or vampirism from the said witchcraft owing to their available scientific support.Having set witchcraft apart  from the Dracula activities, the MLS is effectively left with no grounds to dismiss the bloodsucking allegations using the Witchcraft Act as their tool.

This Court is reluctant to suggest or believe the claims that the bloodsucking is, but some mythical rumour. Further understanding of vampires will leave an appreciation that these bloodsucking creatures are capable of transforming into other creatures. So far, the alleged victims or witnesses, of the bloodsucking menace, have claimed that after sucking the blood, or after failing to do so, these creatures are turning into some creatures before escaping from sight. Similar claims have also been reported in our neighbouring country of Mozambique. Perhaps such transformations, into other creatures, are what prompted the MLS and some locals into deducing that they are acts related to witchcraft. Howbeit, the sweeping claim of dismissal, that those complaining about this bloodsucking incidences are illiterate, is simply unfair, unbalanced and uneducated. This Court will be the last entity to believe that Mulanje, Phalombe, and Chikhwawa districts are comprised of, but all illiterate and poor people. This is to invite all of us to be mindful when dismissing the complaints of these affected locals on the grounds of the alleged illiteracy and poverty.

As to whether the vampires have, indeed, invaded the terrorised southern part of Malawi is beyond the current determination of this Court given the absence of solid proof as expected to emanate from medical examination of those who have been allegedly attacked. If allowed to speculate, this Court would rely on the data contained in SEPA which clearly informs that he/she who gets attacked by vampire(s) transforms into a vampire due to viral infectionHaving not been impressed that any alleged victim of the alleged bloodsucking has turned into a vampire, this Court can, on the head of that assessment, reasonably reject the claim that vampires are in our territory. However, that denial may not be conclusive because this Court is, yet, cautious of the fact that it may not know all types and forms of vampires. Sitinganeneletu!

2. Whether Malawi Police Service was right to entirely discard alleged blood sucking scheme without any investigation. 

Under this head, this Court is burdened to determine whether the purported feedback by the MPS, of entirely discarding the alleged blood sucking scheme on unspecified historical dimension, was legal and act of sound judgement. 

The Malawi Police Service arbitrarily dismissed existence of serial blood suckers without any empirical and credible findings from any criminal investigation. Let this Court emphasize, herein, that with advancement of technology and sudden twist in complexity of criminal acts, any alleged criminal serial syndicate needs a comprehensive crime threat/occurrence analysis. Certainly, the MPS neglected this crucial investigative principle. This agrees with Commonwealth v. Reid, 29 Mass. App. Ct (1990) in which a learned supreme court judge strongly affirmed that omission of investigative evidence by police creates a ‘reasonable doubt’ in criminal case analysis. This court,thus, considers a stand taken by Malawi Police as excessive deduction, and proceed to brand it as an act outside good judgement and reason.  

3. Whether police’s purported action/or decision contravened right to life of alleged victims and any person within proximity of danger. 

The court swiftly shifts attention on determining whether the purported action by the MPS contravened right to life of ‘unverified victims’ and any person within proximity of the alleged acts. According to Section 44 of the Malawi Constitution, every person has a right to life and no person shall be deprived of his or her life. Inter alia, the Court’s burden is to pass a verdict if the right to life has been contravened and also, but not limited to, if the said right is subjected to threat. The Court has, to this end, not been furnished with sufficient evidence as to concretize any claim against or for the Anampopa. It occurs to be an informed view of this Court that any alleged blood volume/composition alteration in the bodies of the alleged victims must be substantiated by independent biochemical tests. With reference to Sikova’s alleged fate, verified biochemical analysis at Chonde health centre showed normal blood levels with no traces of injury or protrusion after an alleged incident. However, independency of the said biochemical test has not been guaranteed. Therefore, the Court reserves to base ruling on this piece of evidence. 

Whether there is some political underhand in this vampirism syndicate

In a political democracy, like Malawi is, the ultimate control of State and Government is vested in the political authority. Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika draws his power as Head of both State and Government, by the spirit of Sections 78 and 88 of the Constitution among other textsHe solicited his bid to govern under a political party, visthe Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Effectively, and in accordance with our political dispensation, the DPP becomes the ruling party. It is, at this point, worthy to note that senior officials of the ruling party, in the names of Nicholas Dausi and Henry Mussa, who are both cabinet ministers, said that this, referring to the bloodsucking rumour, is a deliberate ploy by the MCP and NGOs to have Malawi labelled a failed state. It appears they simply copied an excuse that the former Head of State Dr. Bakili Muluzi coined when a similar fate fell upon Malawi back in 2002. This Court is not here to address that plagiarism of excuse though!

In the understanding of the ruling DPP, the MCP headquarters and some NGOs sat down, sketched and bled this rumour and went to distribute it in the affected localities. This, to me, sounds like a completely irresponsible finger-pointing which was, probably, inspired by the desire to mudsling the MCP, as this saga coincided with the just ended by-elections. It is not only this Court which has trashed the ruling DPP on this wild and weird claim, but also the electorate in the affected localities of Nsanje and Blantyre who have abandoned the ruling DPP at the ballot, by voting for the MCP candidates.

Allowed to do estimation again, this Court can reasonably estimate that if there is any political authority who are perpetrating the bloodsucking incidences, the ruling elites are LIKELY to be the onesWe are not conclusively saying they are the ones, but that if, indeed, there is some political underhand stirring or responsible for the actual generation of this saga, the DPP cannot be exonerated from suspicion or blame. It may, as well, feature well on the suspects list. This suspicion is arrived at after deducing from the reactions of Government and State authorities on the torrent

We have been informed how the State agency, the Malawi Police Service responded. It left a lot to be desired. We have been informed how the cabinet ministers responded, it left a lot to inspire. We have been informed how the President, himself, responded on one Friday at a political rally in Mulanje. No thread of tangible commitment was shown. He,  actually, left it to Chief Ngolongolia to deal with the crisis, only to come later and claim that he was misquoted. Who does that? These and under pointers are enough to carry, to safety,any conclusion that the ruling elites, probably, know something about this syndicate. They must tell us in clear terms – if they happen to do.

5 Whether the finger-pointing business, by the government and other agencies, towards counter political parties and individuals is moral, valid and justifiable.

Having established that no conclusive evidence has been tendered to undoubtedly ascertain the actual occurrence of these bloodsucking allegations; and having established that in any possible event that they are really happening, the chief culprit could be the ruling elites themselves – as at least judging from their pattern of conduct – any business, on the part of the government and/or any other agency thereof, to shift the blame arrow(s) towards the opposition MCP, the NGO and/or Prophet Bushiri, does not only come out immoral, invalid and unjustifiable, but also tortious.

One may understand that it is okay if the DPP and/or any other wanton accuser thereof, directed their allegations towards the MCP and the NGOs. We could have said perhaps that’s their usual play of dirty games in politics. But the extent of accusing an innocent individual, who happens to be a man of God for that matter, is the most appalling. This tendency of splashing political mud unto an innocent man of God is drifting into unbearable nuisance which must stop. If anything, he is a fellow citizen in whom we must all be proud of and grateful for his good works unto fellow citizens.

Determinations 

In line with legal, logical and plain perspectives exhausted above, the Court affirms and prescribes the following determinations:

1. Vampires are real and must be separated from witches owizards (collectively witchcraft). Their alleged current occurrence in some parts of southern Malawi must be subjected to further substantive rigorous investigations.
2. Malawi Police Service erred in discarding blood sucking rumors on the context of historical data (unproven/unverified). The absence of a credible criminal investigation data renders any pronunciation on the matter, by MPS, invalid. 
3. The reported incidents are insufficient to validate a threat to right to life, except for in the flipside where the scared locals are ignorantly, condemnably, criminally, unlawfullyand inhumanely killing their suspects.
4. That, indeed, there is some political underhand thrown into this saga AND that hand, may not have any other color and smell than that of the ruling DPP
5. That the finger pointing business, either by the government or any other wanton persons thereof, is immoral; invalid and un-justifiable AND that the same culminates into some tortious liability.

Pronounced in this open Court of Public Opinion – The Kangaroo Court

________________

Coram:

Lord Denning SC (Judge)

Ine Ndi Nonte (Visiting Judge)

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Thitherward
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Nice joke, Lord Denning. There is no such thing as the Superstition Enforcement and Protection Act of 1952, or any other year.

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