District Commissioner for Blantyre, Bennett Nkasala on Thursday, called for a prompt meeting with chiefs to discuss possible solution, to the blood vampire rumours that have hit the district.
This follows a chaos that erupted on Wednesday night in the Area of Group Village Headman Mtenje in Bangwe Township, to an extent where the traditional leader’s (GHV Mtenje’s) house got demolished.
The angry mob suspected GVH Mtenje to be harboring vampires when he had earlier on this day, organized a community meeting to alert his people of the situation in the near districts of Mulanje, Thyolo and Chiradzulu; and he discouraged them from taking the law in their hands if such a situation surfaces in the area.
Speaking during the meeting, Nkasala said although the issue was not intense in Blantyre, basing on the chaotic situation that took place in Bangwe, he thought of organising a briefing with chiefs so that together they could find a way to calm down the situation.
The briefing was also aimed at making people understand that the Government was doing everything possible to address the problem.
“This is a national issue and Government is fully aware of the matter. A lot is being done to calm down the situation. However, I called the meeting so that I assure the chiefs and through them, pass the message to their subjects that the Government is seriously looking into the matter and doing all it could to ensure it is resolved.
“It is a myth and just as many presume, it is associated with Satanism, as well as witchcraft; but it will be dealt with,” explained Nkasala.
Nkasala further tasked the chiefs to inform their subjects to desist from taking the law into their hands, as that was not a good or legal solution. He said killing the suspects would only render some into prison.
“People must at all cost avoid taking law into their hands. Instead, they should report the matter to the police each time they hear rumours or suspect someone. “Because chiefs have a role to play, we expect a cordial relationship until sanity is back,” said Nkasala.
Meanwhile, Nkasala says as a district, it will soon conduct sensitization campaigns that, among others, will address issues of mob justice and respect for chiefs by the communities.
“This briefing is a start of many activities that we have planned, but a proper schedule will be out from next week,” he said.
Traditional Authority (T.A.) Machinjiri, to whom Group Village Headman Mtenje reports, commended the DC for the meeting and planned activities.
“Our discussion was based on finding solutions to the issue at hand. It is also our hope that together we will be able to deal with the blood suckers problem,” said T.A. Machinjiri.
Apart from the chiefs, Nkasala also invited the police, which he requested should boost up security in hotspot areas of Bangwe, Chilobwe, and Ndirande among others.
Deputy Commissioner of Police and in charge of Limbe Police, Benatt Chitunda, assured the people of maximum security in the district.
“We will enhance our security and also strengthen the community policing section,” he said.
Further, Chitunda said the police will also spread out to various places and educate people on the evil of taking the law into their hands.
The blood sucker rumours are spreading from some parts of the Southern Region of Malawi with chiefs being the major suspects of housing the said vampires.
However, nobody has come forward to testify that they have been attacked by the alleged vampires.