Government has accused Malawi Congress Party (MCP) of perpetuating reports about blood suckers and being behind the violence resulting from the rumours.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration has also claimed that it is not surprising that the stronghold of current administration has been affected by these rumours saying the opposition wants to scare DPP supporters in the Southern Region.
Cabinet ministers Nicholas Dausi and Henry Mussa held a press conference on Wednesday morning in Lilongwe where the claims were made.
At least six people have been killed in Nsanje and Mulanje on suspicions of being blood suckers or working with blood suckers. Villagers in the two districts as well as in Phalombe have since mid-September been claiming that there are blood suckers in the districts.
Speaking on the issue, Minister of Information Dausi said the silence of Lazarus Chakwera’s MCP and non-governmental organisations on the reports show that they are behind the rumours about blood suckers.
“Malawi has over 515 NGOs, 55 political parties, 418 churches, over 3000 churches and mosques. No political party has come out. All the usually vocal NGOs are all silent. 515 NGOS no statement. 55 political parties no statement. Why?
“Many of these are always in the media speaking on a number of issues, accusing government even on silly issues but to our surprise these people are all quiet yet six lives have been lost, investors are being chased, goods and properties of some innocent people are being ransacked,” said Dausi
He then insisted that the claims that there are blood suckers in Nsanje, Phalombe and Mulanje are not true and he challenged villagers to name any individual who have had their blood sucked.
The minister also condemned the violent acts that have led to the killing of six people in the Southern Region.
He said President Peter Mutharika has extended condolences to victims of the attacks and has directed the police to provide 24-hour security in the affected districts to make sure everybody is safe.
The reports of vampires sucking blood have also affected tourism especially in Mulanje where a Belgian couple was attacked by villagers in September after being mistaken for blood suckers. The tourists were badly injured in the brutal attack and their vehicle was also smashed.
Speaking at the press conference, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Henry Mussa apologised to the Belgian couple and he urged all those involved to stop this malpractice immediately since this practice is tarnishing the image of Malawi.
“The prevailing vampire paranoia situation in Mulanje and surrounding areas has the potential to derail our efforts in promoting our country as a tourism destination but also as preferred destination for foreign and direct investment. No tourist or investor would like to come to a country whose citizens are attacking others due to such misguided beliefs,” he said.
Mussa assured the tourism and travel industry in Mulanje, and the country in general that the Government of Malawi will step up a number of interventions to eradicate the unfounded fears of blood suckers in the district.
“These will include increased Police presence in the area, increased awareness on blood sucking myth, and increased security in areas that are visited by tourists,” he said.