Concerned Muslims in Malawi are calling for the dissolution of the National Islamic Ijtima Committee saying their aim is to advance their political ideologies instead of developing Islam, Malawi Muslims Website understands.
The concerned Muslims have made the call through the popular social networking site Facebook and random interviews conducted by this website.
They say the committee has been failing to implement some of the resolutions agreed at the event a development which the concerned Muslims believe that the committee prioritises its political agenda than objectives of holding the event as evidenced by attendance of political leaders regardless of their religious affiliation. These politicians are mostly made guest of honours in order to gain political mileage.
They give example of the 2010’s event held in Mangochi, where the committee promised Muslims that it will construct a hospital at the old airport in the district. Muslims who attended the function were asked to choose whether the committee should prioritise hospital or an Islamic University and people opted for hospital.
But a recent visit to the place indicates that nothing has happened on the ground.
“Ijtimah is very important event, but enough is enough the regime that organizes this event needs to be replaced with new blood. The event should continue only after people appoint a regime that they can trust, otherwise we are tired of being deceived. So they should hold on the event [until the new committee is set],” said Juma MW on Malawi Muslims Official Website Facebook page.
Ashrafudeen Ibn Abi Chipojola concurred with Juma by saying “That will be done if those stingy people step down and choose the right those with open minded and who are willing to develop the youth and to fulfil the objectives, otherwise the Ijtima will be of no use.”
Some have also said ordinary people should be included since most of the members in the committee are deemed to be politicians.
“Ordinary Muslims should be included in the organising of the event. In so doing, the needs and expectations of the common man will be addressed hence fulfilling the objectives,” said Grey Ibn Saizi.
Speaking in an interview a Blantyre based Muslim youth Abdulrazak Evance has attributed the failure of implementing the resolution due to disunity among Muslims in Malawi.
“We cant say we should stop organising this event because it brings us together for the common good but the only problem is that some Muslim leaders believe in lip services, that’s where there is a problem. Therefore, there is a need to change the whole set up,” he said.
However, a Balaka based businessperson who spoke on condition of anonymity says the event should completely be abolished.
“A lot of Millions have been wasted in organising this event which no one can say that they have yielded fruits as expected by the majority. I have also noted that only the organisers are benefiting from the event through getting allowances.
“The most worrisome thing is that the event now is being politicised as some Muslim leaders want to impose their political ideologies on the Muslim society,” he said.
Last year, the event failed to take place due to politics as a responsible committee was divided over who would be the guest of honour between the then State President late Bingu wa Mutharika and former President Dr Bakili Muluzi.
This year, according to reports, squabbles have already started on who will be the guest of honour a situation that has led to shifting of the event from September 14 to October 5.
However, officials in the committee have just laughed off the matter.
“Which committee are they talking about? Every year we have different committee. You will see that some members who were in last year’s committee are not the ones who are in this new committee. Therefore, that call is not making any sense. Muslims should know that our aim is to develop Islam in the country but not to achieve a political mileage,” said Vice Chairman of this year’s organising committee Sheikh Aman Matiya.
Ijtima, which started in 1981, is an annual gathering that brings together Muslims from across the impoverished southern African state with an aim of solving challenges facing Muslims.
Some of challenges facing the Muslims include lack of education facilities such as universities, adequate secondary and primary schools, hospitals among others.