Bloodsucker reports are still being dealt with in Malawi, creating panic and inspiring violence. According to a story in the Maravi Post on 10.10.17, the headline reads “Malawi legislature admits the existence of bloodsuckers.” According to the story:
Mulanje south legislature Bon Kalindo has admitted the existence of bloodsuckers in his area and has since called the authorities to take the matter as an urgent.
Speaking with a local radio, Kalindo said it sad to see that some authorities are denying the existence of bloodsuckers in Mulanje district while describing the residents’ action as primitive.
According to him, the bloodsuckers change into dogs or ghost when the community wants to deal with it.
“As a legislature of Mulanje south, bloodsuckers are indeed there and they are tormenting lives of the community,” he said.
He said he don’t believe that the soldiers and police who have been deployed to the area will manage to deal with bloodsuckers.
Kalindo further warned strangers who want to visit the district at night hours saying the will be killed by the community.
“Don’t try to visit our area at night hours, if you do that see what the community will do to you because they will suspect you as bloodsucker,” he warned.
However, the legislature denied to comment on government position that there is no bloodsuckers in the district saying “I speak for my people who are facing this problem but those denying speak for government and they have their rights.”
Meanwhile, the community has penned President Peter Mutharika to address them as well as provide security concern the problem.
Almost six people suspected to be bloodsuckers have been killed by the angry mob.
The residents believe that the bloodsuckers are sent by government or politicians thus why they are failing to deal with the problem.
Government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi put the blame on opposition parties and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for the problem.
However, President of Malawi Congress Party, Dr Lazarus Chakwera and CSOs are accusing government including President Mutharika for failing to save the lives of innocent people in the district.
Aside from mob killings, the blood sucker scare has led to a temporary withdrawal of the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) workers in the affected areas. According to an update in the Maravi Post dated 10.11.17, the panic has led to the deaths of those suspected to be blood sucking vampires as well as those who may be harboring the blood suckers. There have also been road blocks, destruction of private homes and stoning of ambulances suspected of transporting these vampires.
Fears are also related to electronic or mechanical devices and villagers fear blood may be sucked through “biometrics machines,” aerial devices on vehicles and mobile phones. Some villagers are afraid to sleep indoors and suspect the blood suckers have been deployed by the government of Mozambique, or possibly their own government is involved. The population embracing the myth is generally poverty-stricken and illiterate. Some mobs use the excuse of entering a home to attack a blood sucker as an opportunity to steal. Others claim to have been “blood sucked” but physical examinations show no evidence. Some village leaders are afraid to denounce the rumors because they may be attacked as one of the vampires.
Belief in blood sucking vampires is only one myth affecting the citizens of Malawi. Fear of witchcraft is also a problem, according to published reports in Malawi’s media.
On 10.3.17, a report of spontaneous fires was described by the Malawi News Agency as occurring in the Chiradzulu communities. Reports were received of mysterious fires burning the clothes off of victims but leaving them unhurt, furniture catching on fire inside a home but leaving the home intact, and “another case involved a bag whose contents started burning whilst inside one of the resident’s house and when it was taken outside the house, all the contents inside the bag got burnt but the bag was left intact without any damage from the fire.”
On 8.23.17, the Malawi News Agency reported a villager in Chikwawa was arrested for killing his mother after she practiced witchcraft. He beat her to death with a stick “fortified with charms.”
On 8.16.17, the Malawi News Agency announced “Ntcheu ‘Resurrected’ woman taken to witchdoctor for checkups” eighteen days after her death. A family member was quoted as saying, “We have no plans to take her to the hospital since she is okay. We have taken her to the witchdoctor just because we feel its witchcraft related death, so we rely upon the witchdoctor to make Jana a normal person again.” Her sister added that the only thing different was that the resurrected woman could now speak fluent Yao, a dialect not spoken in the area.
Similarly, on 10.6.17, another resurrection occurred in Chiradzulu, this time a 14-year old girl, also attributed to witchcraft.
On 8.7.17, the Malawi News Service advised the public that the rumors circulating regarding National Identification Cards were not the “mark of the beast,” referring to the number 666. An official in the Mzimba District noted: “All our neighbours have implemented their national ID system. Why is the issue of 666 only in Malawi? Luke chapter 2 verse 1 onwards talks of Joseph and Mary going for registration in their homeland. Was that 666 as well?”
And finally, Amnesty International has drawn attention to the custom of killing albinos in Malawi. Hunting albinos for their body parts has seen a resurgence since January 2017.