11 October 2017

Malawi: Newspaper Hail Mutharika for 'Pragmatic Approach' to End Bloodsuckers Saga

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Moonlight (file photo).

President Peter Mutharika has been commended for breaking his silence to condemn the violence being perpetrated on suspects of bloodsuckers' saga in Mulanje, Phalomne, Thyolo, Chiradzulu and Nsanje districts and vowing to get to the bottom of the issue with visits to the affected districts.

An editorial comment in The Nation newspaper on Wednesday titled 'Bravo APM for the right message against violence' , said although it has taken the President long to say something on the issues, he should be commended "for taking a more pragmatic approach towards ending the saga" which has so far left seven people dead.

Speaking when he addressed a campaign rally in Lilongwe's Area 23 where he rooted for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Reuben Ngwenya in the Lilongwe City South East by-election on October 17, the President said he has learnt with concern about the rumours and their impact on the suspects and their property.

"It is very sad that this is happening. I promise to get to the bottom of this and I am asking people in the concerned districts to desist from sensationalising the issues and also taking the law into your hands if you feel like someone is involved," said Mutharika.

The President said the rumours of blood sucking originated from Mozambique; hence, he plans to visit the affected areas--Mulanje, Thyolo, Phalombe, Chiradzulu and Nsanje--to find a lasting solution.

The newspaper editorial said it is "commendable" that Mutharika has also seen sense in heeding the call by the public ti hold rallies in bloodsuckers' hotspots.

"We hope he will take the mesaage to the areas - npot to attacke ere suspects," reads the editorial in part.

The paper expressed suprise that the Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Grace Chiumia has been "so muted" on the issue that squareky falls within her ministry's jurisdiction.

During an October 4 2017 media briefing in Lilongwe on the issue, Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi and Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Henry Mussa pushed the blame on opposition parties and CSOs.

They also described the bloodsuckers as 'mythical' and appealed for "concerted effort" to deal with the situation.

"We have 55 political parties in this country, 515 CSOs. Why are they quiet on this issue where lives have been lost?" said Dausi, who particularly mentioned opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) over its silence on the issue as a cause for suspicion.

But MCP deputy secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka said the accusation against his party was unfortunate and an indication that the DPP administration lacks direction in running government affairs.


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