RUMOURS are once again swirling in southern Malawi that evil
bloodsuckers are on the loose.
According to Nyasa
Times, last week Mary Pandamanja (24) from Mulora village in the Mulanje
district claimed that she had been attacked by bloodsuckers while asleep in her
Some Malawians believe that bloodsuckers are people,
sometimes believed to be in the service of Satan. The evil fiends pump out
people’s blood either to drink themselves to make themselves powerful, or to
The rumours can prove deadly, as previous experience has
shown. Last year, angry villagers attacked two ambulances they claimed were
carrying bloodsuckers, and three others accused of being bloodsuckers were
burnt to death.
Foreigners are particularly vulnerable to being attacked
as bloodsuckers. In the most recent bloodsucking frenzy, a group of officials
working for the World Food Program narrowly avoided being moered by angry
villagers for being bloodsuckers.
They were rescued by community police.
Malawi’s government has been increasingly frustrated with
the bloodsucking rumours, claiming they are spread by political opportunists
trying to destabilise the area.
Cop Gresham Ngwira said Pandamanja had been examined at
hospital and there was no evidence that her blood had been sucked from her.
She has been arrested and charged with giving false information.
Ngwira said: “I can confirm that these rumours have
started going round again, but as police, we have not yet gathered evidence
that these things indeed do happen.
“But we think some people just want to fulfil their
criminal motives by disturbing the peace of people in the district under the
disguise of the bloodsucking myth.”