Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) is calling upon all Muslim groups and organisations to apply for affiliation if they want to be recognised as serving Muslim interests in their activities in Malawi.
The call was made by MAM’s Secretary General Dr Salmin Omar Idruss at the Quran House when speaking to Malawi Muslims Website on Wednesday, January 11, 2012.
According to the MAM Secretary General, many Islamic groups and organisations in Malawi claim to be operating under the umbrella of the association but have never gone into any formal agreement with it.
The SG says before becoming an affiliated member of the association, the organisations will be required to complete proper documents in addition to submitting their constitutions and annual activity reports. Required procedures have now been set out in the new MAM constitution, which is currently at the consultative stage.
“You know, it is not automatic that when people register their organisations with the Government of Malawi then they instantly become a corporate member of MAM, no! There should be procedures that must be followed for any Islamic organisation to be recognised by the association, which is found in the revised constitution. And when we talk about reports, we don’t mean financial reports because we know they have their own means how they get funds so there is no way we can ask them to give us their financial reports – but what we are just interested in are their activity reports.
“This will help us to identify how many Islamic organisations we have here in Malawi and what type of work they are doing towards uplifting the lives of Muslims in the country. Those reports, as a mother body, will also help us to have a record of what developments have been completed or achieved so far, where these developments have been done and where there is a need that will require urgent collective assistance,” he said.
Muslim organisations flock to MAM offices demanding reference letters to the government, donors or even other international organisations, a thing which will now be difficult without the organisation being affiliated to the mother body.
He further said that only those registered with MAM as corporate organisations will be involved in the voting process of MAM elections which takes place every five years.
“With this initiative, we want also to put procedures on how Islamic organisations will be conducting their affairs to avoid duplicity of activities which is common now. You will see that there are many Islamic organisations doing the same activities (within the same area)……. For example, we want other organisations to deal with health sector, and others education sector but not all doing the same activities. So, this will help us to assign them the activities and discuss with them where those activities are urgently needed,” said the SG.
However, the SG said by doing that, it does not mean that MAM will be interfering in the administration of other organisations but that it will be providing an oversight to ensure that all organisations are working in accordance with their set out objectives.
The organisations will be asked to pay an affiliation fee to MAM which in turn will help the association in running its affairs efficiently.
On a related development, Dr Omar says that the association’s plan to carry out a census of all Muslims in the country is at an advanced stage. He said that it is unfortunate to see that all denominations have records indicating the number of their followers except Muslims.
“When you know each other and how many people you are it helps a lot more especially in the implementation of developmental programs. It is not proper that we should just be waiting for somebody to come and tell us ‘you are 1 million or two million’ yet in real sense we know that we are more than that. So, it will be good that we should come up with our own records indicating how many Muslims are in the country,” he said, emphasising that this will only be possible unless there is full cooperation from Muslims themselves in the country.
By now MAM should have a data of all Islamic organizations in the country – local and international.In terms of data on the number of Muslims, MAM can involve other Muslim stakeholders to collect this data.
We hope that the decision on the nutshell is on positive grounds. The Islamic organizations in the country are doing a lot. Let's hope MAM wont thwart their efforts. I believe MAM has no capacity to control the affairs of Islamic organizations in Malawi. Get the desired human resource full of charisma to perform.
It is a common belief that MAM is a body that, by virtue of existence of Muslims in Malawi,emerged solely to serve and protect muslims interests and it is undoutedly expected that the exercice of its duties have to be done in accordance with their expectations, so Malawian muslims expect to be briefed a bout the programmes being engaged.Who ever is given any authority should be led by those interest not personal interets.This time around alot of people lost trust in MAM therefore this has to be re-built otherwise it doesnt make sence to ask other organisation to be giving an account of their activities yet MAM itself doesnt reciprocate. A forum open to general muslims has to be devised for them to hold the officers accountable and I do not mean Ijtima.
There is a need to have a planning committee which will be guiding MAM and other Islamic organisations on the policies and programmes to undertake not based on leadership's personal wishes and decrees.