By Shadreck Chaula, MANA
Following the widespread rumours of bloodsuckers in the district, measures have been drafted to address the vice that has led to the killing of suspected people and loss of property in some parts of the country.
The Consensus to draft the measures was reached during a stakeholders meeting held Sunday organized by Rumphi Civil Society Network on how the district can do away with the bloodsuckers myth that has instilled fear among citizens in the district.
Rumphi Civil Society Network chairperson, Peter Gondwe said it was necessary for stakeholders to take the responsibility of disseminating the right messages that blood suckers do not exist.
He urged Police to intensify night patrols to prevent criminals from taking advantage of the situation to steal people’s property.
Gondwe stressed on the need to conduct massive awareness campaigns to reset people’s mindset and strengthen good working relationship between police and the general public and the vice.
“It is not either the duty of civil society organization or the police or traditional leaders but it is collective responsibility to inculcate in people that bloodsuckers is a myth. There is no evidence attached therefore people should not panic,” he pointed out.
Rumphi District Council Director of Administration, Steve Chima said the Council would ensure that communities are sensitized but facilitate enforcement of laws that would bring public order in the district.
“Some of the measures which have been put in place to enhance security in the district are that no one should be seen loitering around for no valid reason at night.
“We will ensure that all the drinking joints and other private business entities are closed at the right time for instance no business entity at in the district is allowed to operate 24 hours therefore every business will operate until 10 pm,” Chima said.
Rumphi Police Station Officer, Edward Chingaipe said out of all six suspected bloodsucking cases reported to his office, no case has been medically proven to have fallen victim of the saga.
He expressed worry over the loss of life of an innocent person at Jaghala area and others who have sustained various degrees of injures due to fabrication of such rumors.
“Since the onset of the bloodsucking rumours, six suspected bloodsucking cases have been reported in various areas such as Lura, Bowe, Jaghala and Hewe among others,” Chingaipe said.
He vowed to work around the clock to ensure that no life is lost again and property damaged due to the current wave of bloodsucking rumors.
Group Village Headman for Rumphi Urban, Chikalamba Gondwe said mob justice on superstition of bloodsucking matters is only criminal with a manifestation of moral decay.
“Issue of bloodsuckers is just an excuse of the thieves so that they should find a way out to get peoples properties and be able to escape easily but I ask the Police to be more vigilant on the issue at hand,” he lamented.