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Blood sucking-related attacks scare traders

DISTRAUGHT—Kanyinji at his vandalised house

Some businesspeople around Jenda Trading Centre in Mzimba District have said they feel insecure in the wake of a spate of attacks directed at those suspected to be blood suckers.

This is despite that the police have arrested 37 people suspected to be connected to the attacks.

Twenty-seven suspects were arrested in the Northern Region with the majority of them being from Jenda Trading Centre where recently an angry mob destroyed a Police Unit and shops.

Eight people have so far been killed for being suspected to be blood suckers.

Speaking when Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) engaged communities around Jenda Trading Centre on the dangers of mob justice related to blood sucking rumours, Paulo Kanyinji, whose lodge was destroyed by an angry mob, claimed he has lost property worth over K20 million.

“Some people were claiming that a suspected blood sucker was staying at my lodge and they ransacked the place and stole several items before smashing my two vehicles,” Kanyinji said.

Champhira Police Assistant Station officer, Hans Katumbi, agreed with Kanyinji, saying irate communities have destroyed three houses and a building belonging to the police. He said one person has been killed in the attacks.

“The issue of blood suckers is just a rumour because we don’t have any evidence that it happens. I appeal to our traditional and political leaders to sensitise their people that the rumours are baseless. We are destroying our country for nothing,” Katumbi said.

Chairperson of Jenda Market Committee, John Maseko, said there is fear among businesspeople to the point that some feel like leaving the area.

“The most important thing is that all stakeholders must take part in sensitising our communities so that they understand that there are no blood suckers terrorising them,” he said.

On his part, CCJP Mzuzu Diocesan Secretary, Arnold Misuku, said Malawians are bitter because of the political and economic situation in the country such that they are ready to vent their anger on anything.

“It is time to revert to peaceful ways as a God-fearing country. Let us not lose our values because of anything. We can express our frustrations in any way but not through destroying other people’s property,” Misuku said.

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