Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) Chairman Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad says he is confident that President Bingu wa Mutharika will fulfil his promise.
Yesterday, President Bingu wa Mutharika pledged to construct a big Mosque in Mangochi.
He said this during his speech when he was presiding over World Water Day celebrations that took place at old Airport in the district.
The President said he noted with a concern to see that Mangochi and Machinga, the areas which are predominantly Muslims have no a magnificent mosque.
“I want you Muslims to have a big mosque in this area. You can now start to form a committee which will be in charge in the whole project. That mosque will reflect how the population of Muslims are here in Mangochi. There are a lot of Muslims here and it is a must that you should have a big one not those I have seen along the roads when I was coming here,” appealed the Malawian President.
Reacting to the President’ speech the MAM chair said he is optimistic that the pledge will be fulfilled.
“At one time, we had a meeting with the President where he was telling us about the idea. He said he want to build an Islamic complex not only a mosque. At first, I thought he was just saying but since now he has taken it to the public, I am sure that he will do it,” said the chairman.
According to the chairman, the President approached some Islamic countries that promised to support him.
“Some people are thinking that the money of constructing that complex will come from Malawi government, no. The President had already identified donors who promised to support him and recommended that the centre should be built in areas which are predominantly Muslims. So, he chose Mangochi,” he clarified.
When asked what this mean to MAM as Muslims mother body in as far as relationship with government is concerned, Sheikh Muhammad had this to say:
“You can see yourself that this is happening because of our good relationship with the current government. I am saying this because I don’t think in the past there was something like this. You know, other people tend to politicise everything even things that will benefit themselves. Or, is it false that Mangochi has no a good masjid? We have to thank the government for this.”
In 2009 the Government of Malawi established diplomatic relations with Iran that were cemented by a two day state visit by Mutharika in September 2010. Upon his return, Mutharika told the Malawi nation that Iran has promised to offer ‘developmental’ assistance to Malawi.
Muslims in the country have therefore no doubt that the money for the construction of the mosque in Mangochi will come from Iran as part of the assistance.
However, it remains to be seen whether Iran who are Shias will not attach any conditions to the Mosque considering the fact that Muslims in Mangochi, just like in Malawi as a whole, are Sunnis.