American Peace Corps volunteers working in four southern region districts have been temporarily withdrawn by the United States (US) Embassy in Lilongwe over reports about the presence of human bloodsuckers in Phalombe and Mulanje districts.
More than 2 400 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Malawi since the programme was established in 1963.
The US volunteers serve in Malawi working in the areas of education, environment and health.
But in a security alert dated September 29 2017, the US embassy says it continue t to temporarily prohibit its staff from travelling to Mulanje due to ongoing acts of vigilante justice stemming from fevered rumours on vampires for rituals.
“The US Embassy has instructed its personnel to exercise extreme caution when travelling to Thyolo, Chiradzulu and Phalombe districts due to reports of high tensions and threats of vigilante justice in those districts stemming from the same rumours,” reads the message on US Embassy website.
It adds: “We strongly encourage US citizens to avoid travelling to Mulanje District and exercise caution if travelling to Thyolo, Chiradzulu and Phalombe districts,
“The United States Peace Corps has temporarily removed its volunteers from all these districts.”
For the past three weeks, there have been reports of ‘bloodsuckers’ in the four districts, a development that is forcing some people to sleep outside their houses at night.
The myth about bloodsuckers in the district comes barely a week after three people were burned alive in Mulanje at Milonde in T/A Mabuka on suspicion that they were bloodsuckers.
The Malawi Police Service (MPS) national spokesperson James Kadadzera in an earlier statement described the bloodsucking rumours as a hoax.
He said: “The Malawi Police Service condemns in strongest terms possible the uncivilised behaviour by some unpatriotic Malawians who are fabricating these malicious rumours which are negatively affecting innocent individuals who are either wounded or have their houses demolished.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :