#Exclusive: Muslim Students Lament Regionalism in NAMSA Leadership

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Some Muslim students say one of the factors spicing the failure of National Muslim Students Association (NAMSA) is regionalism.

The students told Malawi Muslim Website that the leadership of NAMSA is always headed by a student from a college based in the southern part of the country without necessarily analysing his competency.

The students were reacting to the recent change of leadership in NAMSA following voluntary resignation of a College of Medicine- Blantyre Campus student (Chairman) and others whom some quarters were accusing them of sleeping on duty.

The students say whenever a student from the central and northern college battle for the top post (Chairman) of NAMSA fails even though the person is capable to deliver.

“One of the problem of NAMSA is that they choose a leader because he is from Chancellor College, Polytechnic or College of Medicine. These are colleges based in the southern region. When a student from Mzuzu University or Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) seeks the post of Chairman, he fails to win because these colleges are not in the southern region,” he told Malawi Muslim Website.

The students propose that NAMSA must have rotational leadership to be robust.

“We should have a rotational leadership. If this time, a Polytechnic student is the Chairman, next time a student from Mzuzu University must take over then a student from Luanar. It is fine for southern region to produce a number of leaders for NAMSA because they have a number of colleges but this should be in a rotational method,” he says.

However, another student has quashed the complaint saying that all NAMSA positions are elective.

“No one is appointed into NAM National Executive Committee (NEC). The students themselves elect people of their choice,” he told Malawi Muslim Website.

Recently, Abdoullah Matrood Chapola, a fourth year student of Bachelor of Science in Quantity Surveying at the University of Malawi, the Polytechnic has been elected NAMSA Chairperson.

Chapola says he is planning to give the organization what was lacking in the immediate past leadership that has voluntarily resigned due to their incompetency.

“The Executive of NAMSA had a meeting on 23 rd August, 2020 in which they wanted to review where and why the association is failing. It was established that the executive was failing because of three key positions and they all accepted it and they tendered in an informal resignation which prompted the executive to vote who will have to carry NAMSA forward for the remaining Months,”

“I came out to be their choice and others from within the association filled up other positions. My plans for NAMSA are just to focus on rebuilding the brand as it was about to collapse,” Chapola told Malawi Muslim Website.

Chapola wants to have a proper working office for NAMSA as it has none.

“My mission for NAMSA is strictly to do with policy issues. Letting Muslim students shine through whatever platform that might be there. I will try to put in ways to motivate students like presenting awards to students and those who have done commendable tasks, (example when NAMSA south went at Malawi University of Science Iand Technology, we gave out a certificate and other prizes to the lady called Firdouse Bakili,” he told Malawi Muslim Website.

Chapola vows to put in place automatic ways where they can have Muslim Clerics (Sheikhs) to lecture Muslim students at least once a month to keep the Muslim Students Associations (MSAs) awake because most MSAs were inactive for not including prominent people at their respective meetings.