General News of Thursday, 20 September 2018
Investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas says the traumatic experience he had with his team during an investigation in Malawi will live with them for the rest of their lives.
Anas made this statement when he spoke to the BBC about how he and his team narrowly escaped death while investigating series of mysterious murders in Malawi.
The piece ‘Malawi’s Human Harvest’ tells of the gruesome murders of innocent lives in Northern Malawi by witch doctors and their associates for ritual purposes.
The investigation was carried out by Anas’ Tiger Eye PI together with BBC/ Africa Eye.
The team met the families of some victims who were mourning and living in fear at the same time due to the increasing rate of the murders.
One of the families he met told him about how four members of the family have fallen victims to these ritual murders within the last 10 years and how they were being ostracized by some members of the community who describe them as “dead men walking”.
The investigation took a dangerous turn when the team met with a witch doctor and his accomplice in a remote place to discuss how they carry out these murders.
Unfortunately for the team, some villagers who cited them were convinced they were part of the killers and attacked them whilst they were trying to get to their cars to leave the place.
Even though they showed the crowd their IDs to prove they are journalists, the villagers did not believe them and kept shoving them around and even attacked some community police officers who tried protecting them.
“They hit my head with a huge stone and I fell but I had to keep up. I stood and we pushed forward…I could feel someone drive a knife, cut through my suit and when we got into the valley, they were going to end our lives and there was nothing that could stop them,” Anas recalled the traumatic experience.
“We knew that, that was the moment we were going to die…we had to just run, hold each other’s hands and run. We were surprised we made it alive. It was just the hand of God that took us out of this,” he added.
They chanced upon the village chief’s house as they were running for their lives and that was the beginning for their escape from death.
Anas noted that even though they escaped from death that night, the “mental scars of the night will remain with us forever”.
A statement released by Tigereye PI notes that the documentary “raises a lot of questions about existing belief systems and calls for reflection on both personal and community levels for us as Africans. We know that ritual killing of children is a criminal phenomenon that, driven by greed, exists in many other countries, and even our own. The question is how do we as a people come to terms with it, and eradicate it?”.