Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has suspended night operations in the Northern Region following attacks on its workers on suspicion that they are bloodsuckers.
Recently, some Escom workers sustained injuries when angry mobs attacked them in Mzuzu, Karonga and Chitipa districts.
Speaking during a briefing in Mzuzu on Friday, Escom public relations manager Innocent Chitosi said eight workers were attacked at Kasitu in Nkhotakota while working on a damaged structure on the sole transmission power-line supplying the Northern Region.
He said besides sustaining injuries, the attacks have created fear in the workers.
Said Chitosi: “We may be forced to reconsider the way we operate, especially at night, although it will affect a lot of deserving customers.
“However, going forward, to ensure security, we are working with leadership structures at grassroots level on the role of Escom.”
Leo Mtupa, a transmission supervisor who sustained deep cuts in the head at Kasitu, said he was now afraid to work at night.
“We showed them our identity cards [IDs]—both national and Escom IDs—and our uniforms, but they still attacked us,” he said.
Recently, there have been blood-sucking rumours in Mchinji, Nkhotakota, Nkhata Bay, Ntchisi, Kasungu, Rumphi, Mzimba, Karonga and Chitipa districts that resulted in five deaths, injuries and the torching of a police unit in Ntchisi.
At night, vigilantes mount roadblocks and search vehicles for suspected ‘bloodsuckers’. During such operations, they also attack anyone they meet.
Meanwhile, police continue arresting people suspected of murdering alleged bloodsuckers in the country.