Muslim Women in Mangochi form their own ‘MWO’, Elections in March

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    We want change!

    Wonders will never end. Muslim women in Mangochi have finally formed their own ‘mother body’ following disagreements with Muslim Women Organisation (MWO) over elections.

    The organisation is called Mangochi Muslim Women Organisation.

    According to one of the women Abiti Mankhwala, the decision has come after top officials in MWO refused to hold elections.

    “We want new blood in MWO because these old guards have been clinging to power for so long yet they are doing nothing. So, when we tried to ask for the elections, instead of listen to our cries, one top official came and started shouting – telling us that we are not members of MWO to convene elections. They say MWO is only for those women above 45 and not youth of 30-35 like us,” she told Malawi Muslims Official Website in a telephone interview from Mangochi.

    Abiti Mankhwala who is also Escort Islamic Dawah Movement chairlady confirmed that elections to choose leaders for their newly formed ‘MWO’ are going to take place on March 4, 2012.

    “We will start with Mangochi and then proceed in other districts before going at national level. We hope it will be successful because many women have lost interest in the MWO’s current leadership. And I hope in their near future we will become a fully-freshed and energetic mother body for Muslim women in the country,” said Abiti Mankhwala.

    National Chairlady for the MWO Fatima Ndaila has since reserved her comment on the matter saying she doesn’t have much information.

    “As of now I cannot comment anything because I haven’t got a report from the delegation that went there [Mangochi]. And as a leader, I need to hear from both sides but what I heard informally is that the issue was not resolved as there was high tempers among the women there,” said the National Chairlady.

    Early 2011 the national chairlady told Malawi Muslims Official Website that what the women are saying is ‘laughable and baseless’ because if the women wanted change in MWO, they would have joined them.

    “Let them join to beat us. What they are saying is not true. If they really need a change in Muslim Women Organisation, then they should come and join us. Why are they hiding? How can we listen to somebody we don’t know and even not our member? We are not clinging to power, but they have to come and prove their leadership skills but not from outside,” she said.

    Ndaila also said the women themselves are to blame on the issue of leadership in MWO as they are the ones who have been choosing the same people every time they hold elections.

    She therefore quashed allegations that MWO is only for elders. She said the organisation is there for the all Muslim women in the country.

    “Those are created stories. It is not true that young women are not allowed to join our organisation,” said Ndaila.

    MWO is an organisation that was formed in 1986 and it is operating under Muslim Association of Malawi.

    Ironically, up to now, the organisation has no office to run its operations, the thing the women describe as due to the ‘stubbornness’ of the current leadership.

    “What could you expect from the organisation which has the same people, same ideas?” asked one woman who spoke on condition of anonymity.