MAM, Islamic Concern Tussle Rages On

Yusuf Sambo

Yusuf Sambo

The wrangle between the Muslims Association of Malawi (MAM) and the Islamic Concern rages on as new revelations emerge that the latter boycotted a meeting arranged to resolve their differences and are instead demanding a full general assembly.

The leader in the Islamic Concern who is championing leadership change at MAM, Yusuf Sambo revealed to Malawi Muslims Official Website that they are trying their best to reach a consensus with Muslim mother body and make peace but the Muslims governing body are yet to call for the general assembly.

“The general assembly was supposed to take place on the 26th April 2014 but it was postponed to the 4th May 2014 and then they asked us to go there with just four people and the meeting had no agenda. We refused to attend that meeting because we felt we were under represented. On Monday we went to the chairperson of the trustees senior chief Kadewere to seek for his assistance but he told us that they don’t have money to organize such a function and advised to go to Muhammad Sidik Mia for possible funding, we went there together with one official from the Muslims Association of Malawi. What we agreed at Mr Mia’s house can not be revealed until the appropriate time. At this point we don’t know when the general assembly meeting is going to take place,” said Sambo.

Sambo further asked Malawians to be patient with them as they are doing anything possible to resolve the matter.

“It is the fact that our chairman has failed. We are asking Muslim Malawians to unite and remove the chairman and amend the constitution. We want learned Muslims to be leading the association not sheikhs. We have seen their performance and they have (all) failed; therefore there is a need to change the way we do things as Muslims Association,” he said.

In his remarks, the secretary general of MAM trustees James Mdala said that he is not aware when the next meeting will take place but concurred with Islamic Concern’s view of leadership change at MAM.

“I don’t know when the general assembly meeting will take place. The write person to talk to is senior chief Kadewere because he is the chairman of the trustees. But to be frank, every thing is not going on well at the association. MAM is not the same as it used to be in the 70s, 80s and early 90s. There is a need for us to make sure that things are back to normal at the association. This can only be achieved if we have one niyya (intention). Leadership is all about leading people (and) not ruling people. MAM is there because of Muslims in Malawi but the leadership has lost direction. Therefore there is an urgent need to sit down and resolve the matter,” said Mdala

Islamic concern closed down MAM offices in Blantyre last month saying that the association has failed to execute its duties properly. Among other things the association is accused of failing to protect Muslim women from dancing at the ruling People’s Party (PP) functions in the name of “gule wa chisilamu”, the selling of Muslims Association of Malawi’s protected word of Halaal to a business man Faisal Kassam and the behavior of the MAM chairman Muhammad Idrissa of siding with the Dr Joyce Banda’s People’s Party in the name of working with the government of the day.

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