9 October 2017

Malawi Righs Commission Asks Mutharika to Act On Bloodsuckers 'Myth'

Photo: Mark Dumont/Flickr
Vampire bat drinking blood.

The taxpayer-funded Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has asked President Peter Mutharika to come out strongly and condemn the incidences of politically-motivated violence as as killings emnagting from the blood suckers rumours in Mulanje and other districts.

Government has dismissed the blood suckers story as "political" ad "myths" and President Mutharika has been silent on the matter since returning home from the United Nations General Assembly (Unga) in New York a week now.

MHRC chairperson Justin Dzonzi in a statement seen by Nyasa Times, reminds President Mutharika that "leadership does not lie in one's designated position, but in his ability to take the first step and put forth solutions to the ills of the society."

The statement said President Mutharika should "come out strongly and condemn" the incidences of politically motivated violence in Rumphi and Nsanje - largely blamed on ruling Democrtaic Progressive Party (DPP) and the the violence motivated by the beliefs and myths in Mulanje and the surrounding districts.

The calls for Mutharika to act comes just days after chiefs and villagers in the 'bloodsuckers' hotspot districts of Mulanje, Phalombe and Chiradzulu said they want President Mutharika and senior government officials to address meetings to clear the mist.

Police in Mulanje said they have received over 30 cases of people claiming to be victims of bloodsuckers and managed to arrest over 35 suspects as perpetrators of mob justice.

However, government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi, who is also Minister of Information and Communications Technology maintained his stand that the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is behind the bloodsuckers rumour, saying the party just wants to tarnish the image of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) considering that the hotspot areas of blood sucking are in the stronghold of the ruling party.

But MCP deputy secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka said accusations against his party in relation to the issue were unfortunate and an indication that the DPP administration lacks direction in running government affairs.

In the statement, MHRC has also faulted Police, saying it is deeply disturbed by failure by the law enforcers to deal with acts of violence with speed and without fear or favour.

Dzonzi said Police's failure to act decisively may emanate from political interference in their operations by the ruling elite including Cabinet Ministers.

The rights commission has since called the police to be professional against all odds.

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