Confusion over blood suckers in Blantyre
Against a background of criticism over its handling of the blood sucking claims, the Malawi Police Service revealed Friday that it has so far arrested 140 people in connection with killings of people suspected to be blood suckers.
Since the issue came to light in Mulanje and Phalombe weeks ago, the police were yet to make any arrests.
At a press conference in Lilongwe on Friday, Inspector General of Police Lexten Kachama, said currently, they have not yet found tangible evidence incriminating those alleged to be bloodsuckers or proving its existence.
“We have been investigating the issue, and we have discovered that the people who were killed did nothing wrong. This is bad and we will not allow people to continue doing that,” Kachama said.
Since the issue started, nine people have been killed for being suspected to be blood suckers. The latest two were killed in Blantyre on Thursday.
Kachama, who was with Deputy Inspector General (Administration), Duncan Mwapasa, and Director of Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Stan Chaima, said from the investigations they have conducted, two key issues are coming out.
“Firstly, we have discovered that in Phalombe, two people were sending phone messages telling others that they were coming to suck their blood. They have been arrested. As for the incidents in Blantyre, they were simply thieves. People are initiating the issue of blood sucking so that they take advantage of the violence that erupts to steal,” Kachama said.
He added: “For example, when some people saw a lorry carrying bags of maize, someone just started shouting that in the lorry there were blood suckers. Eventually, people took advantage of the violence to steal the bags of maize,” Kachama said.
Mwapasa said to deal with the problem, there is need for all relevant stakeholders to work together.
“We are engaging a number of stakeholders. The Malawi Defence Force (MDF) also attends our meetings. This is not a small issue. To end it, we need to join hands,” Mwapasa said.
Chaima said the police will continue arresting people involved in the violence.
Currently, there is a committee comprising Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Ministry of Civic Education and Culture and Ministry of Health to look into the issue.
Meanwhile barely two days after one person was torched to death and another stoned and killed, tension was still prevalent in some parts of Blantyre yesterday.
On Thursday night there was tension in Mbayani and Chemusa townships after a rumour that blood suckers have invaded the two townships.
One of the residents, Willy Joshua, told Malawi News that at around 9 o’clock in the evening of Thursday, one woman in Mbayani screamed for help as she claimed the vampires had invaded her house.
Unfortunately, the suspected vampire was not caught, neither was he seen.
However, this stirred uproar as the residents headed for Kabula Police Station to seek for help.
“In the course of the event, the residents started pelting stones at the police station claiming the police were, by then, not helping them. Some people started burning tyres and a road was blocked. Some cars were smashed in the process,” said Joshua.
Shaffie Tchaka who also witnessed the pandemonium said about ten police officers were deployed to the scene where teargas was used to disperse the crowd.
After about five hours of battle between the residents and the cops, calm returned.
A businessman at Mbayani Township said he has lost about 80 second hand tyres worth about K900, 000 which were torched during the fracas.
“I would ask government to provide us with strong security. Whether the stories are true or not but there is no peace here, people are not sleeping. Ironically, some people are taking advantage of the situation. In my case I have lost my business, my tyres have been burnt,” he said.
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