Minister of Information and Communications, Nicolas Dausi, has said President Peter Mutharika has directed a 24-hour police operation in mountainous tea growing district of Mulanje and all areas affected with rumours of ‘blood sucking vampirers’ to tighten security.
Addressing the press in Lilongwe on Wednesday, Dausi said the government is concerned with the alleged killing of people who are believed to be blood suckers, which so far have left six people dead.
“As government we condemn the barbaric behavior which is happening in Mulanje and Nsanje of killing innocent people believed to be blood suckers, we want to tell the nation that these claims are not true,” Dausi said.
The Minister said since the rumour started making rounds, government has directed the police and members of private security organizations to make sure that there is a 24- hour surveillance to find out who is behind this immoral behavior.
“We are working on the ground with the police to find out who is behind this, and mark my words, we will catch them,” said Dausi.
However, he could not explain what the operation is all about.
“Take it as such. It’s from the President” he said.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Henry Mussa, described the attacks as ‘mythical’ calling for concerted effort to deal with the situation.
“I want to concur with my fellow cabinet minister in condemning the recent acts of mob justice on fellow Malawians and the touring Belgian couple who have obviously been mistaken for blood suckers in Mulanje, Phalombe districts and surrounding areas,” Mussa said.
The two ministers also appealed to donors not to rush to withdraw their workers in affected areas saying the situation is under control.
Mussa and Dausi speculated that they suspect political influence in these attacks
Dausi particularly sent a message to development partners that they should learn to inform government before writing their governments about the situation in the country.
The United States embassy in Lilongwe has temporarily withdrawn its team of Peace Corps volunteers from the four districts bordering Mulanje and advised its citizens not to visit the area.
In a statement, the embassy blamed “ongoing acts of vigilante justice stemming from rumours of persons attempting to siphon blood from local residents for ritualistic use.”
Meanwhile, people are assured that there will be no need to press the panic baton for Mulhako wa Alhomwe culture festival on October 29 this year at the usual place Mulhako wa Alhomwe Head Quarters at Chonde in Mulanje.
This is an annual celebration where people learn a lot about the Lhomwe culture that includes Lhomwe language, customs and beliefs as well as Lhomwe history.
Mulhako wa Alhomwe National Publicity Chairperson, Dickson Makhumba said they have been assured that there will be no threat of “anamapopa” during the festival period.
Mulhako wa Alhomwe is a cultural grouping which was established by the Late Malawi President, Prof. Bingu wa Mutharika some ten years back with an aim of bringing all the Lhomwes together.
Apart from inviting all the cultural groups in Malawi, they have also invited other guests from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Republic of South Africa and other neighboring countries to celebrate with them.
State President Mutharika will grace the occasion as guest of honor.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :