Malawian head of state Peter Mutharika promised to solve the problem of self-defense groups that recently killed seven people suspected of drinking or attempting to drink human blood during ceremonies of black magic.
“We have launched a wide-ranging inquiry to settle this matter,” Malawi President Peter Mutharika said in an October 10 statement about the series of lynchings by citizens of his country of suspected individuals of vampiric acts.
Since last month, seven “vampires” have been beaten to death by angry mobs during several incidents south of Blantyre, according to local police.
The latest victim was killed on 9 October in the district of Thyolo, the region of birth of President Mutharika, according to a spokesman for the security forces quoted by AFP. Described as mentally retarded, the man was surprised as he roamed at nightfall in a village. A self-defense group killed him, accusing him of being in search of “victims,” said the spokesman.
The head of state was “deeply moved” that some people could be killed because “suspected of being involved in incidents of vampirism” and denounced these “very disturbing examples of popular justice”.
Peter Mutharika urged his compatriots to “remain calm while the government is working to resolve these cases” and not to do justice themselves.
In an attempt to curb these actions, the authorities imposed a curfew in four districts in southern Malawi where the incidents occurred, including that of Mulanje.
In a report dated October 6 obtained by AFP, the UN antenna in Malawi described a “still unstable and volatile situation” in this part of the country. She suspended these missions “until the situation returns to normal”.
According to the document, part of the population of these regions is convinced of the presence of “vampires” from neighboring Mozambique to collect human blood under the guise of programs to help populations.