The forthcoming general elections on May 18 are already causing panic among some sections of the Malawian society including a religious sect called the Apostles.
Some members of the sect are currently gathering in Chirimba, Blantyre. They include men, women and children.
According to residents in the area, the sect predicts that war is afoot and the world comes to an end just before the elections.
“Most of them have sold their personal property including land, bicycles and some even shoes,” John Batuwelo, a curios dealer in the area said Thursday.
The sect is also being accused of attracting children and persuading them not to rejoin their families.
It has since transpired that early February the sect attracted Lackson Maoni 13 , Evas Kuphazi 13, and Kuleza Kuphazi, 14.
“But we managed to get Lackson and Evas back after they went missing for a week. Kuleza refused to come back home,” Victor Maoni, a brother to the children, disclosed Thursday.
With the help of police, the family managed to get Kuleza back but he went back to join the sect a day later. He remains with the sect.
Victor led a Nation team where members of the sect are gathered, an area called Mtoso. He recognised Kuleza’s blanket but Kuleza himself was not there.
Several women breast-feeding, children playing, unwashed dishes piled in a corner of one of the houses welcomed the team Thursday.
A group of men in white robs later appeared to greet the team leading it to one of the huts.
They all declined to reveal their identities but confirmed they started gathering last month.
“We will not talk about our gathering because God has not allowed us to do so. We will only talk at a time when God allows us,” one of the men who, it was later established from Victor was Mtumiki Samuel, said.
One of the members later confirmed during the interview that sect members have been selling their personal effects.
“It’s true we have sold some of our personal things. We have been asking our members if they have anything to sell to do so. It’s because we have a meeting and there are a lot of things, including food, we need to sustain ourselves,” he said.
Asked to comment on the coming elections, Samuel said he would not comment on the issue because President Muluzi will be addressing a rally around the area this weekend.
“We will read to you Amos 3:7. We are not hiding. Israel is committing a lot of wrong doings and if you follow him you will be punished. But, anyway, we can’t reveal God’s secret until He tells us to do so,” Mtumiki Samuel said, refusing to elaborate why Muluzi’s visit stopped them from commenting on the elections.
“I thought he is part of the elections, is he not? Is he not an interested party?” asked Mtumiki Samuel.
When photographer James Kamanga asked for permission to take pictures, he was referred to Exodus 20:4 and later to Isaiah 40:18 which says that God cannot be likened to any image. They refused to have any pictures taken.
Mtumiki Samuel also refused to comment on the children the sect was keeping without their parent’s consent. He, however, recognised Victor.