Blantyre: The organising committee for this year’s Islamic gathering in Malawi has admitted to have been compelled by Muslims to make an appeal from well-wishers to offer assistance that will help in staging the event.
Deputy Chairperson for the committee Ismael Kazembe confirmed of the development in an exclusive interview with Malawi Muslims Official Website.
The appeal comes weeks after the function, which was scheduled to run from October 28 to October 30, 2011 at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre, was cancelled due to the failure for the committee to raise funds amounting to 7 million Malawi kwacha (about $40,000) meant to buy food among others.
The committee said the failure to raise the funds was due to lack of commitment from traditional donors towards this year’s event.
Apparently, the committee has already written letters to several Muslim individuals and Islamic organisations.
However, reports has it that Muslim well-wishers have been reluctant to sponsor the Ijitima because the committee through Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) approached the Malawi’s state president Bingu wa Mutharika who allegedly pledged to pay the whole amount.
”Indeed we have so far asked several Muslims and organisations to assist us because it would be very unfortunate for the event to fail taking place this year because of funds,” he said.
“We have seen that MAM is not helping us because the money they said they are going to collect from the president it is nowhere to be seen up to date. So we have decided to reconvene the fundraising so that we should be able to hold the function,” he added.
Many Muslims in Malawi were dissatisfied with the cancellation of the event and others openly showed their anger when they booed MAM’s Vice Chairman Sheikh ‘Katundu Madzi’ Shoaibu Ibrahim at the 10 years anniversary of Radio Islam held in the country’s commercial city of Blantyre on October 22.
The Vice Chair was trying to explain the reasons that prompted to the postponement of the Ijitma.
Asked whether the Ijtima will take place this year, Kazembe said this will depend on people’s response towards the appeal but said the function would to take place from November 18 to November 20 this year.
The committee is sceptical whether the donors will change their stand considering the fact that the committee has not come in open whether the reported pledge made by Mutharika is still standing.
”I would not say here that the function will take place on such a date, but what I would emphasis here is that we are working tirelessly to raise the funds,” he explained.
Ijitma is an annual Islamic gathering where Muslims from different area gather at one place for a number of days and share spiritual upliftments.
Apart from Malawi, the event is also popular in other countries like Tanzania.
Reporting by Ali Blessings Idi