Leader of opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera and the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) have separately asked President Peter Mutharika to commission a public inquiry into the bloodsucking phenomenon.
Chakwera said in a statement yesterday, being a recurring problem, it was also high time President Peter Mutharika instituted an inquiry and address the issue “proactively and preventatively” to ensure the deaths and destruction of property witnessed lately never happen again.
The MCP leader also called upon Mutharika to organise a “national solemn assembly for genuine contrition and repentance”.
“This needs to come from him as a public gesture of his commitment to stop running this country on rumour-mongering, as demonstrated by recent attempts by some in his camp to blame opposition parties for instigating this crisis,” said Chakwera in his statement.
He said such initiative would also give Mutharika an opportunity to address the
underlying socio-economic frustrations his government has left unaddressed since taking office.
Chakwera also commended the Malawi Police Service and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) officers for working towards containing the lawless acts and restoring law and order in all affected areas.
In a separate statement yesterday, EAM says it supports the idea of forming a public inquiry to investigate into the matter which has so far created havoc in most parts of Southern Region.
EAM, however, has requested the inclusion of faith based organisations in the public enquiry once established.
In the statement jointly signed by EAM national executive board chairperson Rev. Chatha Msangaambe and general secretary Rev. Francis Mkandawire, the religious grouping suggested religious leaders, community leaders, chiefs, district council representatives, the police and other key stakeholders to form part of the inquiry.
“Whilst we appreciate that most Malawians are wary of commissions of inquiries, such commissions have often not lived up to people’s expectation. This problem requires deeper engagement with people and analysis as it touches on matters of faith, belief and culture,” reads the statement.
The bloodsucking issue has stirred tension and panic in most parts of the Southern Region resulting in several developmental partners withdrawing their operations in the affected districts. So far, 10 people have been killed for being suspected to be blood suckers.