Malawi Police rescue 2 businessmen from lynch mob in Mangochi over ‘bloodsucking’ scare

Two Salima based businessmen nearly got killed and burnt by an angry mob in Chilipa, Mangochi, on suspicion that they were bloodsuckers owing to their being strangers in the area.

Malawi has deployed the army and imposed a curfew to stop the spread of violence, and Britons travelling to the country have been warned that outsiders could be targeted by mobs-e (Image: Mabvuto Banda/Twitter/Reuters)

According to Mangochi Police, the two men, Petrol Malasha, 58, and Mathias Sankhumbe, 38, went to Chilipa on Sunday in search for traditional charms called Nkolantchentche for their respective businesses when they met their fate.

Their strange faces in the area, in the wake of the bloodsucking myth that is making rounds in some parts of the country, raised suspicions among the locals who mobilized themselves and apprehended the two men.

The incident occurred at Bulaki Village in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Chilipa and the two were taken to the Group Village Headman where they repeated their intention of visiting the village saying a fellow businessman in Salima who hails from the area had tipped them on where to find the charm.

The community members did not buy the two’s story and chaos broke loose as they went chanting in protest, proposing death of the two by burning.

“It was fortunate that police officers from Chilipa Police Unit had caught the news and they rushed to the  scene in time and rescued the helpless men from the angry mob,” Mangochi Police Deputy Public Relations Officer, Sgt. Amina Tepani Daudi, told Mana, adding that the two were later taken to Mangochi police station for safety.

The two businessmen have since been sent back to Salima by the Police and, according to Daudi, no injuries or loss of properties were reported during the incident.

Malasha and Sankhumbe hail from Ngolowindo and Sankhumbe villages, respectiviely, in TA Maganga, Salima.

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