The Muslim Supreme Council of Malawi (MSC) says it has no regrets over the remarks it made a month ago on the state owned television Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC). In the controversial remarks, the MSCM quashed the all-inclusive conference resolutions of the Public Affairs Committee (PAC).
In March this year, the Public Affairs Committee organised a national two-day all-inclusive conference held at Limbe Cathedral in the commercial city of Blantyre. The theme of the conference was ‘To Reclaim our Destiny-Seeking Redress to Political and Economic Challenges’.
It was aimed at finding solutions towards the numerous economic and political problems currently afflicting the country.
However, the following day, the MSC chairperson Sheikh Yassin Katungwe appeared on MBC TV to quash one of the resolutions made at the conference where participants asked the late former president professor Bingu wa Mutharika to resign within 60 days for his failure to solve problems rocking the country.
The council said Muslims in the country were against PAC’s idea to give the president a 60-day ultimatum because it was obvious that the president would not resign, which would have sparked protests – leading to the death of many innocent Malawian citizens, including Muslims.
The MSC argued that it would have been better if PAC had engaged in contact and dialogue with the president to discuss how best to solve the problems Malawian citizens are facing. They argued that this approach would have been more beneficial than threatening the President with a deadline.
However, some quarters in the Muslim community were not happy with the remarks of Sheikh Katungwe and slammed the council, saying the body has no mandate to speak on behalf of Muslims.
But speaking to Radio Islam, The chairman of the council, Sheikh Yasin Katungwe said his organization has the right to express its views when it sees something wrong and said his organisation would never shy away from speaking up, even under the new government led by Her Excellency Mrs Joyce Banda.
“We did not want to see people dying again because the PAC said it was ready to call for mass disobedience if the president would not resign (which was obvious that he could not). So, as an organisation we thought we had a role to express our views because we did not want to see the repetition of what happened during July’s 20 protests,” explained Sheikh Katungwe.
Responding to the assertion by some citizens who say that the group does not have the mandate to speak on behalf of Muslims, Katungwe said there was nothing wrong with him speaking on behalf of Muslims because there is nobody who was assigned to speak on behalf of Muslims in the country.
“There is no specific person who was put in place here in Malawi to speak on behalf of Muslims. We went there as an organization and as Muslims, we had a mandate to speak on behalf of Muslims,” he said adding, “It is just piety that some people have been castigating me in the media.”
By Maulana Lehman Reporting for Malawi Muslims Official Website