Come to the bottom of blood sucking rumours

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    So, it has come to this? What started as a rumour— that some people were allegedly on a blood-sucking mission in some Southern Region districts— has degenerated into a situation where we are losing the good will of others.

    News that the United States Embassy in Malawi has recalled peace corps volunteers from four districts where the blood-sucking rumours are being treated as gospel truth is tear-jerking, especially because the peace corps volunteers contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.

    For a long time, the volunteers have been working in different sectors of national development, acquiring knowledge about local cultures while, at the same time, imparting knowledge and skills in locals who have been at the receiving end of the peace corps volunteers’ generosity.

    But, powered by fear, community members in the Southern Region districts where blood-sucking rumours have become a hot potato have turned against the very people who have been coming to their aid. It is a typical case of benefactor turning against the provider.

    That said, we are baffled by the response of law enforcement and other government agencies which, at best, has been discouraging and, at worst, outright insensitive. The police account is that these are mere rumours while communities in the affected districts claim that the issue has nothing to do with rumours as it is their reality of life.

    We would have hoped that the authorities would have come to the bottom of the issue but, so far, we are not getting that impression. It is as if the authorities believe that the rumours will disappear on their own, which is not encouraging.

    While we know that, sometimes, reports of issues such as that of blood sucking emanate out of congenital ignorance in some people— aided, as it were, by beliefs in supernatural things, witchcraft inclusive— we believe that authorities are treating the issue lightly.

    While the authorities are mulling on their next move, in terms of how to come round the blood-sucking rumours, we, as a nation, are losing more than money in good will. Now, good will is everything.

    The decision by the United States Embassy in Malawi — to temporarily recall peace corps volunteers— should, at least, jolt us into action. It could be a reminder that they are losing the confidence they have in us.

    We cannot keep on watching as things go asunder in the country. It is time we addressed the issue of alleged blood suckers once and for all

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