LILONGWE-(MaraviPost): Prophet Shepherd Bushiri this week said he is shocked and disheartened with the smear campaign on social media that allegedly links him to the bloodsucker’s myth in Malawi.
The Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) leader further said he could hardly believe that some Malawians, whom he calls his brothers and sisters, could be so “heartless and devilish” in fabricating such damaging and slanderous rumours.
Recently some online publications and other social media platforms went viral with allegations that Prophet Bushiri is the one behind the so-called blood suckers activities.
Propagators of these allegations claim that since Bushiri is fond of donating alms to needy societies in the country, then he must be the one behind the alleged bloodsucking activities – saying it’s his payback.
In an interview with our sister online publication Nyasa Times, Prophet Bushiri’s communications director Ephraim Nyondo said it is disheartening and, at the same time, frightening to note that it is now a culture in Malawi to blame Prophet Bushiri for every misfortune or leadership failure in Malawi.
“Just look around. When there are accidents on our roads, all eyes are turned on Prophet Bushiri. When people drown in a boat, people say it is Bushiri. When famous people die in Malawi, Prophet Bushiri is blamed for their deaths. When some people are having marriage problems, Prophet Bushiri becomes the first to be blamed. What image are Malawians trying to project out there of our man of God?” he wondered.
Nyondo added that it is surprising that some Malawians, today, are connecting the blood suckers activities to Prophet Bushiri, when these stories have always been part of Malawi’s history. He further wondered if it is the same Prophet Bushiri behind the same scenario which are reported as happening in some parts of Mozambique.
In 2002, Nyondo further explained, these stories were so rife and, just like today, the international media reported heavily on them after expatriates started to flee the country.
Not only that, he added:
“As far back as 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s stories of blood suckers (surfaced) and cases of pupils running away from classrooms fearing blood suckers were quite prevalent.
“One would, then, only wonder if in all these years, it was Prophet Bushiri behind (them) as some Malawians want everybody to believe,” he said.
Nyondo didn’t mince words, but charged that the “blame Prophet Bushiri” jibe is just a strategy in panic by authorities to cover up their failure to contain the issue which, so far, has claimed nine innocent lives; with a video of the killing of one innocent person – who was whipped, stoned and burnt to death.
“We all remember how, when this issue broke out in the Lhomwe belt, government officials blamed it on the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP). We are seeing the blame on Prophet Bushiri through such lenses because, we all know, and that Bushiri has always been a burden-bearer of most wrongs and disastrous incidents in Malawi. Remember that recently a local chief in Chikwawa was sent, at a DPP rally, to disparage the Prophet as a Satanist as one way of discouraging his maize distribution programmes slated in the district. One can, therefore, not be entirely surprised with these allegations, especially noting that the same activities are originating from the same region. But really, we are disturbed with this.” he said.
Nyondo calls on the Malawi public to not just pray unceasingly for God’s guidance, but also to take their leaders to task on any emerging issue; the public should not allow the tendency of using innocent people, such as Prophet Bushiri, as a scapegoats.