The Chief Commissioner of Islamic Commission for Justice and Freedom (ICJF) Mr Shaibu Ajassie has been appointed as the Chairperson of Forum for Democracy and Rights Defenders (FDRD), a forum aimed at defending democracy and Human Rights for Malawians.
Mr Ajassie is accused of supporting the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) .
In this Exclusive Interview , Bright Malenga is talking to Mr Ajassie on his appointment and political life.
Bright Malenga: You have been appointed the Chairperson of FDRD. What should Malawians expect during your tenure in office?
Mr Shaibu Ajassie: Firstly, let me say FDRD is a forum composed of five Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). Some of these CSOs are my own Islamic Commission for Justice and Freedom (ICJF) , Civil Society Platform for Contact and Dialogue and Steam of Life Malawi among others.
The aim of the forum is to defend our democracy that we fought for in 1990s.
As the leader of the forum , I will make sure to defend Malawi democracy by making sure that Tonse Alliance Government is fulfilling what it promised Malawians. Malawians are tired of unfulfilled promises so as the leader of FDRD, I will make sure that Tonse Alliance is walking the talk.
Bright Malenga: Why do Malawians believe in the capabilities of Mr Ajassie? Who is this man ?
Mr Shaibu Ajassie: Shaibu Abdul Rahman Ajassie is a Muslim born in Zomba district and based in Blantyre.
In 1990, Ajassie formed a Dawa group called Noor Islamic Dawa and I was a Director. In 1994 my Dawa group started a program in schools called Know your Religion and Defend It among Muslim students. Also we started IFTAR project in secondary schools.
In 1997, Ajassie appointed to be a secretary General of Islamic Dawa Association and it was chaired by Sheikh Karim Kamwendo.
In 2000, Ajassie was appointed to represent all Muslims in this country at National Aids Commission ( NAC). I was among 63 team members.
In 2002, Ajassie went to South Africa and in South Africa in 2004, Ajassie formed an organization called Malawian South African Muslim Community Association. And it was registered in 2010 , Ajassie became Director General.
In 2013 , Ajassie came back from RSA and in 2014 formed Islamic Commission for Justice and Freedom by then it was a Taskforce. In 2015 ICJF registered as NGO and Ajassie became its Chief Commissioner.
In 2019 Ajassie appointed as NFRA Board Director by former President Arthur Peter Mutharika.
Bright Malenga: Some people say you were a DPP supporter and you may connive with your friends to come up with the forum to frustrate the Tonse Alliance Government. Why are you a political party member instead of being a true human rights defender?
Mr Shaibu Ajassie: I have never been a DPP but I work with the current Government. I will also work with the Tonse Alliance Government to make sure that it is delivering its promises. I can never be against the current Government but as a forum , we will make sure that Malawians who voted for them on 23rd June, 2020 are satisfied with their governance.
Bright Malenga: You are denying that you were a DPP supporter yet former President Peter Mutharika gave you a position at NFRA. That was paying you for being loyal to the party. Why are you dumping DPP now?
Mr Shaibu Ajassie: No. At NFRA, I was getting MK 112,000/ 3 Months. What kind of payment was that? I have never supported any party. I am just a human rights defender.
Bright Malenga: Are you ready to work with the Tonse Alliance Government? Don’t you see it becoming a burden looking at your relationship with the DPP regime?
Mr Shaibu Ajassie: As I already said , I work with the current Government. I am ready to work with the new Government to uplift the lives of Malawians. The Government has to fulfil its promises such as giving Malawians cheap fertilizer.