Blood sucking saga shakes Malawi’s mineral sector – Mining & Trade Review

201711 Malawi Mining & Trade Review Cartoon Bloodsuckers vampires

Blood sucking saga shakes Malawi’s mineral sector

…Chamber advises exploration firms to work with caution

By Deborah Manda

The Malawi Chamber of Mines and Energy has advised companies who are conducting exploration activities in areas where rumours of the presence of bloodsuckers are rife to carry out their activities with caution in order to avoid being attacked by suspicious communities.

Communities, mainly in the southern part of Malawi where rumours of the presence of unknown vampires are rife, have been attacking and killing visitors on suspicion that they are blood suckers.

Those doing the actual mining may not be targeted because they meet their respective communities before they start doing their operations unlike exploration companies whose main aim is to find samples,

says Chamber of Mines and Energy Coordinator Grain Malunga.

A number of people suspected to be blood suckers have been attacked or killed in districts such as Mulanje, Phalombe, Thyolo, Chiradzulu, Nsanje and parts of Blantyre.

Those coming from outside the country to do exploration work should be more careful and must be advised and guided well before embarking on exploration as they may fall victims of bloodsucking,

says Malunga.

Veteran geologist John Nkhoma comments that it is important for geologists, who want to conduct exploration work in an area, to follow proper procedures of entry which include seeking authorization from traditional leaders and the District Commissioner who will, in turn, introduce them to their communities.

Foreign companies that have exploration licenses should not be scared to come to Malawi to do their work because of these rumours. All they have to do is to engage us, local consultants who will follow all the necessary procedures in dealing with communities even in the hotspots of these blood sucking rumours,

he says.

Violence against people including visitors suspected of being vampires started a couple of months ago in Mulanje and has seen the US, UK and other international organizations pulling out their citizens working in affected districts as a way of protecting them from the attacks.

State President Peter Mutharika recently visited the affected districts and heard testimonies from people who claimed to have been attacked by the alleged vampires.

The president expressed sadness over the rumours and assured the people that his government would deal with those spreading the rumours which are triggering fear among the people.

Meanwhile, the Malawi Police Service has intensified security and so far about 140 people have been arrested for spreading rumours of the presence of blood suckers.

The Inspector General of Police Lexter Kachama has also warned that all those taking the law into their own hands by attacking suspected bloodsuckers will be taken to task.

Kachama assured the people that based on investigations by the Malawi Police Service, there are no blood suckers in Malawi and all the eight people killed were innocent.

***

This piece was initially published in Malawi’s Mining & Trade Review Issue Number 55 (November 2017).

The full edition is available for download here. This monthly publication is edited by Marcel Chimwala.

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