By Stanley Nkhondoyachepa, MANA
Police in Nkhotakota have arrested three more people suspected to have a hand in the killing of two people on blood sucking allegations, bringing the number of arrested suspects to four.
Nkhotakota Police Station public relations officer (PRO), Sub-Inspector Williams Kaponda identified the suspects as Amite Rajabu, 56; Amisa Asani, 51; both from Mbalame Village and Mbuluwa Mussa, 24, of Chamba Village, Traditional Authority (TA) Malengachanzi in Nkhotakota.
The first to be arrested on the same allegation on April 29 was Rich Guza, 24.
It is being alleged that on the night of April 19-20, the suspects were among a mob that killed Benedicto Jason Kanchere, 41, of Chikango Village, TA Mwansambo and Dickson Gwirize of Tongole Village in TA Mponde in the district when they had gone to Sani Mountain for a night of prayer.
It was later discovered that the deceased were innocent businessmen at Dwangwa Trading Centre.
The mob had suspected them to be blood suckers and stoned them to death before setting their car ablaze.
Kaponda said investigations are still underway and more arrests are expected.
Meanwhile, the blood-sucking suspicion happening in the Central Region districts as well as in the North, has affected Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) Limited as it has been extended on its employees assigned to work at night in response to faults.
A statement released last week by ESCOM’s Public Relations Manager, Innocent Chitosi, while strongly condemning the barbaric acts, cited an incident which happened on May 1 at Kasitu near Dwangwa in Nkhotakota, where some members of community vigilante groups attacked ESCOM employees at night when they were travelling to work on a faulty transmission power line.
Chitosi had said members of the community ambushed the ESCOM team, accusing it of being blood suckers despite the staff producing their identity cards, wearing branded work suits and using vehicles which had an ESCOM logo and colours.
The attacker injured the workers using pangas and other sharp objects, Chitosi revealed.
A similar incident happened in Mchengautuba in Mzuzu on April 4 where other members of vigilante group also held hostage ESCOM workers who had gone there to work on a fault.
Other ESCOM employees were also attacked in similar fashion in Chitipa and Karonga districts on different dates.
“ESCOM wishes to advise members of the general public to desist from attacking ESCOM employees, as these attacks compromise service delivery to essential facilities such as health establishments besides inconveniencing ESCOM customers who deserve assistance,” Chitosi said.
“The public should, however, note that the safety of ESCOM employees comes first and should this not be ensured, ESCOM will not hesitate to withdraw its employees from harm’s way.”
Of late, the police have arrested some suspects linked to the killing of, at least, 11 people in the Northern and Central regions over the blood sucking rumours.—Additional reporting by Duncan Mlanjira