National Islamic Ijtma Committee (NIIC) may now breathe a sigh of relief after Malawi Government finally allowed them to use Kamuzu Stadium to hold Muslims’ annual gathering called Ijtma.
Until today morning, Malawi government was determined not release the sporting facility due to security concerns.
The stadium was closed in September after some stands had developed cracks.
“The Ijtmah will take place at the same venue. We had nice discussions with the officials and we have assured them that we will not use stands because that is their main concern. Everything now it’s been sorted out,” said Aman Matiya Vice Chairman for this year’s organising committee.
NIIC booked the venue at K750, 000 and it paid the amount in two instalments. It first paid K250, 000 before the closure and the remaining balance was settled after the stadium was already closed.
Sports Minister Enock Chihana in an interview has said there is no exception with the closure of the stadium but since Muslims already booked the place and that they are not to use the stands then there is no problem.
“After the stadium was closed, we didn’t want to allow anybody to hold any activities. The closure has no exception. But since the payment was already settled then we can allow them (Muslims) to proceed with the event, but on condition that they should not use the stands,” Honourable Chihana told Malawi Muslims Official Website.
The three-day event is expected to draw dignitaries from other countries such as Mozambique, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia whom some have already arrived in the country.
According to the 2012 Ijtima organising committee publicity secretary, Abdul Aziz Onile, Former Tanzanian President Ali Hassan Mwinyi, will grace the ceremony as a Guest of Honour.
Mwinyi who has reportedly been invited by Malawi’s Former President Bakili Muluzi is expected to arrive in the country today.
Onile has also confirmed that the Vice President of the Republic of Malawi Honourable Khumbo Kachali will preside over the closing ceremony where he is expected to receive a communique from the organisers.