Muslims Census in Malawi – A Dream or Reality?


Dr Salmin Omar:

The much touted Muslims census in Malawi is failing to take off due to “misunderstanding by stakeholders”, Malawi Muslims Official Website has learnt.

The Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) announced in 2011 that it would conduct a census of all Muslims in Malawi after not being satisfied with the results of the 2008  National Census that was conducted by the National Statistical Office (NSO). However, despite the then Secretary General of MAM Dr Imran Shareef claiming that they had already identified funds for the exercise, nothing has come to fruition.

Speaking to Malawi Muslims Official Website, the incumbent Secretary General Dr Salmin Omar Idrus confirmed that the plan is still on the cards only that some key stakeholders are yet to appreciate the logistical requirements for such a complex exercise.

“You require a lot of resources in terms of both personnel and funds to cover all the corners of the country,” said Dr Idrus, “but we are still optimistic that it will be done ….starting from the forthcoming month of Ramadhan.”

After the government announced the results of the 2008 national census, some sections within the Muslims community questioned its credibility and speculated that the Bingu government deliberately manipulated the statistics to favour his tribe (Lhomwe) and Christianity.

It was against this background that the Muslim Association of Malawi decided to conduct its own census throughout the country.

However, NSO warned that the government will not recognize those results since it is only the National Statistical Office that is legally mandated to conduct a census in Malawi.

You can view the 2008 Census Main Report here.

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