President Peter Mutharika on Saturday denied that he t hat he will let Paramount Chief Ngolongoliwa deal with the blood sucking saga as it is connected with witchcraft, saying them media misquoted him.
During a rally the President held in Phalombe on Monday as part of his tour of areas affected by the saga, he said he would leave Ngolongoliwa to deal with the matter.
His remarks attracted criticism from analysts with Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) executive director Timothy Mtambo saying the remarks “ discourages others from helping in getting to the bottom of it.”
But Mutharika speaking in Chikwawa district during the launch of Mgumano wa Amang’anja na Asena cultural gorupm which was held at the headquarters of Paramount Chief Lundu, said he did not accept the existence of bloodsuckers in the country, saying reporting by the Malawi media on the same is “nonsense”.
“I don’t know if some journalists have ears or have hearing problems. They are fond of misquoting others, that’s nosense and must stop,” said Mutharika.
He said “Paramount Chief Ngolongoliwa said bloodsuckers can be dealt with traditional leaders since it is not natural but magical. So I responded that if the myth is indeed magical then I will leave it in the hands of Ngolongoliwa to deal with it since he knows how to handle such issues. Not that I am admitting its existence.”
According to Mutharika, he already ordered the Malawi Defense Force (MDF) bring peace in the concerned areas and then urged the community to start sleeping in their houses saying “there’s no existence of bloodsuckers but criminals who want to steal properties of people.”
He then asked the community to stop manhandling bloodsuckers’ suspects but report them to the nearby police.
Ngolongoliwa assured the President that something miraculous would happen within two weeks.
The saga, which has stirred tension and panic in Mulanje, Phalombe, Chiradzulu, Thyolo, Nsanje and parts of Blantyre, has led some development partners to withdraw their operations from affected districts. Seven people have been killed for being suspected to be bloodsuckers.