Supreme Council of Ulama in Malawi Chairman Sheikh Dr Imran Shareef has urged Muslims in the country to take part in the coming 2014 tripartite elections.
He said this in his keynote address at the 2013 Ramadhan Convention held at Hotel Victoria in Blantyre on Saturday.
Shareef, who is also former Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) Secretary General said Muslims’ vote is a determining factor in as far as Malawian politics are concerned therefore it is obligatory for all Muslims who are eligible to vote to do so come 2014.
“Any party that is supported by Muslim is likely to win because our vote is a determining factor in as far as the country’s politics are concerned. It is therefore, emphasized that Muslims should participate fully in the political process and use the vote effectively and wisely for the betterment of all,” he said.
The Chancellor College Law lecturer also asked Muslims to make input in the government’s significant policy decisions. However, he said this will only be possible by participating fully in the political process.
“By participating fully in the political process, Muslims will be able to establish channels of communication by means which the Muslims view point can be effectively and vigorously put forward in the corridors of power. We should not remain on the sidelines and become marginalized,” continued Shareef.
As Malawi goes into tripartite elections for the second time since attaining multiparty democracy, organisations and groupings are being formed with an aim of encouraging Muslims to participate in the political process.
One of the organisations is Islamic Development Initiative (IDI), which Dr Shareef said is important to the Muslim community.
However, he said that the organisation should really have intention to serve Muslims – not full bunch of political agents who want to achieve their ulterior motives through the backdoor.
“I was happy when I heard of a grouping known as Islamic Development Initiative whose aims are to promote and encourage Muslims to join politics regardless of party affiliations. Let it be an all embracing grouping and not an enclosed conclave of Muslim elites within the boundaries of southern and central regions without necessarily incorporating negotiating agencies that stands for Muslims.
“What is needed is that it should have clear objectives with high sense of integrity, truthfulness, trustworthy and honesty on the part of those involved in order to win the trust of all,” said Shareef.