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Peter Mutharika pleads for peace in Phalombe

President Peter Mutharika Sunday pleaded with people of Phalombe to desist from taking the law into their hands amid bloodsucking rumours in the district.

Mutharika told the people that soon distribution of coupons of the 2017/18 Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) will commence, therefore, they should not stone vehicles that go to their areas.

“Do not be afraid, these people [coupon distributors] will come to help you and not harm you,” he said.

Mutharika said the government will investigate and get to the bottom of the issue, saying if the bloodsucking rumours are connected to magic, Paramount Chief Ngolongoliwa will deal with it.

“When you suffer, I suffer, as Paramount Ngolongoliwa has said, we do not know where these rumours started from. But we will investigate the matter and get to the bottom of this. Zamatsenga ndiwasiyila aNgolongoliwa, ngati zilipo aNgolongoliwa athana nazo zimenezo.[if it is about magic, I will leave the issue to Paramount Ngolongoliwa to deal with it] There is a committee of four ministries, chiefs, community leaders and the police who are working together to end this problem,” he said.

Mutharika heard testimonies from about six people who, among them, were chiefs and ‘victims’ of the bloodsucking rumours.

One of the victims, Aida Chikopa, claimed that on September 19 at around 8 o’clock in the evening she all of a sudden felt weak and numb.

“I started nose bleeding and I was weak. I told my husband to light up a torch and see what was going on. He went outside but found nobody but I was getting weak and was still nose bleeding. Until today, we don’t know what exactly happened,” she said.

This is the second district Mutharika has visited where rumours of bloodsucking are rampant.

About seven people have so far been killed in mob justice for being suspected to be blood suckers in Thyolo,Phalombe, Mulanje and Nsanje.

Reports of bloodsucking have forced some foreign missions, including the US Embassy and the UN, to withdraw some of their workers from the districts.

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