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Three wounded over blood sucking rumours

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JAMES KADADZERA

By Wezzie Gausi:

Three people have been injured and 18 vehicles smashed by irate protesters at Madisi in Dowa after their demands to release a man accused of blood sucking were rejected.

According to Mponela Police Station spokesperson, Kaitano Lubrino, last Friday, some people at Kamango Village, Traditional Authority Chakhadza (T/A) in Dowa apprehended Aubrey Phiri, 37, on suspicion that he was in the area on a blood sucking mission.

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Lubrino said Phiri who, comes from Katengeza Village, T/A Chakhadza, was actually in the area to purchase farm produce.

“After his apprehension, he was taken to Madisi Police Unit for further questioning and investigations. But this did not go down well with some residents who stormed the police unit, protesting and demanding his release so that they could deal with him,” Lubrino said.

He added that the police transferred the suspect to Mponela Police Station, a development which annoyed those baying for his blood.

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They reportedly mobilised and started burning tyres and pelting stones at vehicles using the M1 Road.

Three people were injured in the process and were rushed to Mponela Rural Hospital where their wounds were treated.

Eighteen vehicles belonging to different individuals and some organisations were also damaged.

Meanwhile, the police have launched investigations to arrest the perpetrators of the violence.

A few days ago, three people were murdered in cases related to blood-sucking stories that were making rounds in Mzimba and Chitipa districts.

National Police spokesperson, James Kadadzera, called on faith, traditional and political leaders to play an active role in stopping their people from engaging in acts of mob justice but refer any suspected criminal case to police.

In 2017, the blood sucking issues resurfaced in the Southern Region but nobody was medically proven to have fallen victim.

In that year, nine people were killed on suspicion that they were blood suckers, prompting President Peter Mutharika to visit some of the hotspots and advise people against killing each other based on hearsay.

In a statement that year, Society of Medical Doctors also condemned the lynching of the suspected blood suckers, saying there was no evidence that blood sucking was taking place, attributing this to Shared Delusional Disorder.

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