Last week there was a population weekend. And both two big Muslim organisations in the country Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) and Qadriya Muslim Association of Malawi (QMAM) decided to take part in the exercise which was spearheaded by USAID aimed at sensitizing People on the benefits of family planning.
Before the event, there was a pre-meeting where it was resolved that MAM should do the exercise at Mangochi town while QMAM should go to Mangochi Rural.
MAM conducted its exercise at Chomba Mosque which is behind ADMARC while QMAM was at Miwale Mosque in Katema Area T/A Mponda. They were all accompanied by state owned MBCTv crew.
However, in Katema the TV crew managed to do one on one interview but at Chomba Mosque they just recorded a lecture and decided to do the interview at Mangochi Islamic Information Bureau with Sheikh Ahmed Mwanyali and other Muslim women. That was around 11am. But TV Cameraman wanted a background for his story so went to Mangochi Main Mosque where he started shooting while Muslims were making their udhu (ablution). To him, informing Mwanyali was enough that’s why he didn’t ask for permission from the Muslims he found at the mosque.
But Muslims got angry and confiscated the camera since they were not informed why they were being captured.
After noting that things were getting out of hand, the TV crew approached two cabinet ministers, Honourable Ibrahim Matola and Ralph Jooma who were in town for their own businesses for their intervention in pleading with the irate Muslims to retain the camera.
The first to arrive was Honourable Jooma who was accompanied by his board guard and a certain Sheikh. So, after reaching at the venue, the sheikh (who was with Hon. Jooma) was the first to talk to the Muslims but this yielded nothing and people started beating the sheikh.
Then there came Honourable Matola who upon after hearing the story, didn’t say anything and just left the venue together with his colleague Jooma.
Matola who is a Muslim, left the place for Zomba where he was a main speaker at the People’s Party PP rally held at Thundu Full Primary School.
The TV crew then went to Police where they admitted that they were wrong and urged the Muslims to get back the camera which proved futile. Right now, the camera is at the mosque, with Muslims refusing to release it until they are told the reason behind the shooting without permission.
But no any bodyguard of either two ministers was beaten nor was Honourable Matola except Honorable Jooma, who according to eye witnesses was slapped twice as he was leaving the place.