Wrong Identity: Pastor kills church member mistaken for a vampire
A clergyman expressed to a court that he killed a church member thought to be a vampire in order to protect others.
A pastor, Masimba Chirayi of the New Johanne Masowe, Zimbabwe, has reportedly killed a church member he assumed to be a vampire.
This occurred while he was baptising the deceased identified as Wendy Thinnamay Masuka.
According to reports, the clergyman felt threatened by the late congregant’s violent reaction while being baptised.
“In my eyes she was like a vampire possessed by demons, she was violent and I thought she was going to kill people so I kept her submerged in water until I overpowered her,” says Chirayi when made to appear at a Magistrate’s court in Zimbabwe.
Punch News reported that the pastor has been granted bail but has been set for a court reappearance in May 2018.
Mob kills 9 suspected vampires in Malawi
The police in Malawi have reported that no less than 140 people have been arrested following deadly mob attacks on suspected “vampires” in the country.
Sky News reports that there have been at least nine killings, including that of an epileptic man who was reportedly burnt to death and another stoned to death in one of the country’s biggest cities, Blantyre.
According to the reports, the assaults started in September following rumours of “bloodsuckers” on the loose.
The police say that the situation has quickly spun out of control.
Illegal roadblocks have been set up by mobs, which has led to security concerns in the southern African country.
Some residents have said that their homes have been destroyed following speculations that they were giving aid to vampires.
Peter Mutharika, Malawi’s president, has appealed for calm in the four districts where the attacks are reported to have taken place.
He said: “my government will offer protection from these alleged bloodsuckers”.
Sky News reports that some areas have been declared dangerous zones for people working for the United Nations and US embassy.
A safety report by the UN on the Phalombe and Mulanje areas said: “These districts have severely been affected by the ongoing stories of bloodsucking and possible existence of vampires.”
Police chief Lexon Kachama said: “The biggest challenge is that thieves and robbers have now taken advantage of the situation and are mounting illegal roadblocks at night in order to harass people.”
There is widespread belief in witchcraft in rural Malawi, a country which is one of the poorest in the world and has many aid agencies working.