Some major religious umbrella bodies have attributed the escalating blood sucking accounts to high illiteracy levels and minimal faith in God that are compelling Malawians to believe in superstition and mere suspicions.
While the faith groups have applauded government for efforts to control the situation, they feel not much is being done to save lives of people being killed by vigilantes.
In separate interviews, the bodies, while strongly condemning the barbaric killings and attacks, urged religious leaders to preach peace as the people involved are their members.
Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) Secretary General Father Henry Saindi said the contentious blood-sucking accounts and the killings were unfortunate and it was high time religious leaders became concerned about what to do to help end the issue.
“I think it is the price we are paying because of low education levels, but at the same time, the shallow faith in our belief. As religious leaders we should be more concerned about what do we do to help,” he said.
Saindi said from the Roman Catholic Church perspective, the unfortunate killing of innocent people based on superstition was an indication of how “shallow our faith in God is.
“Myths, superstitions are things that would happen among people that do not believe in God,” observed Saindi.
Chairperson of the Anglican Council in Malawi Bishop Brighton Malasa said since there was no evidence of people having been sucked blood, religious leaders must pray hard to repel the spirit of just believing in worldly things.
“We should preach the truth. People should not propagate things that do not have evidence. As a church we also need to civic educate our masses to cling to the truth.
“Government should also investigate and get to the root of the same. This is not good for the country as well as our economy, everything has been affected,” said Malasa, who is also Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Upper Shire.
Moderator of the General Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbytery (CCAP) Timothy Nyasulu also said the church now needs to civic educate parishioners to desist from living in ancient times.
The CCAP General Synod comprises the church’s five synods of Blantyre, Nkhoma, Livingstonia, Lusaka in Zambia and Harare in Zimbabwe.
However, he said government needed to do more to ensure there is peace and silence on the killings of innocent people.
Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) publicity secretary Sheikh Dinala Chabulika called on Malawians to keep quiet in order not to heighten chaos and violence.
“Let us collectively dismiss this rumour so that people stay in peace. Let us join government in dismissing these rumours,” he said.
The blood sucking saga has stirred tension and panic among communities in nearly all districts in the Southern Region since the first rumour was heard in Mulanje last month.
Several development partners have so far withdrawn their operations from the affected districts particularly in Mulanje, Phalombe and Nsanje.
So far nine people have been killed for being suspected to be vampires.