A Magistrate court in Zomba has convicted 47-year old Stanford Bamusi of Mtiwa Village in the district to three months imprisonment with hard labour for spreading ‘blood-sucking’ rumours without no option of a fine.
Bamusi was charged with conduct likely to cause breach of peace.
Nyasa Times learnt that Bamusi—upon seeing a vehicle that was headed to Village Headman Mtiwi’s house—started shouting that bloodsuckers had come into the village, forcing the village folk to flee their homes and spend a night in the nearby bushes.
But when the police followed up the issue, they found out that Bamusi’s shout were unfounded and made the arrest.
Magistrate Chamdimba Nkhata said the punishment was meant to be a lesson to other would-be offenders.
He denied leniency to Bamusi arguing the issue has become a bone of contention in the country, and “is supposed to be brought to a halt.”
Meanwhile, for the first time since the bloodsucking saga ensued two senior government officials—the information minister and the inspector general of police—have conceded that the rumours are only a hoax.
Inspector General Lexten Kachama said “no evidence” has come up to substantiate the bloodsucking claims.
Since the rumours began, nine lives have been lost in mobs directed towards people suspected to be bloodsuckers.