Revealed: Why MAM Dissolved National Islamic Ijtmah Committee

MAM Chair: Dissolved the committee

Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) dissolved the National Islamic Ijtmah Committee with effect from October 31, 2012.

According to the Press Release released by the Muslims’ mother body, which this website has a copy, the committee has since been advised to handover all the remaining materials and items belonging to the ijtmah function to the then Chairman of the working committee Mr Kaombe who is also MAM’s Southern Region Chairman.

The Press Statement does not contain any reason that has led to the decision but says the “Association will appoint another organising committee that will take care of all modalities including date and venue of Ijtmah for next year.”

However, during our investigations, it has transpired that MAM is not happy with the way the 2012 organising committee conducted its affairs.

Malawi Muslims Official Website has found that the income and expenditure report that the committee  released has  shocked  the Muslims’ mother body, raising fears that the event’s funds may have been mismanaged.

According to the leaked  financial report, which Malawi Muslims Website has managed to access  almost a quarter of the total budget went into paying allowances for the members of the organising committee and other volunteers  thereby creating a severe food shortage that was apparent at Kamuzu Stadium, the venue of the 2012 Ijtima .

For example, the report indicate that Sheikhs  were paid as high as MK 20,000.00 each for their sermons yet most of them never came to deliver the lectures, which  prompted Muslim youth artists to turn the program into a youth get together by ditching live nasheeds, poems and dramas. There were about 24 sheikhs.

Other people who benefited a lot from the allowances are the 4 cooks who were also paid MK 20,000.00 each while their 14 assistants carted home with MK 10,000.00 each.  3 Catering Supervisors were paid MK 15,000.00 each.

A person who was writing the minutes pocketed MK 50,000.00 and journalists are reported to have been paid a total of K 85,000.00 at a rate of K 3,000.00 each although the actual number of those who turned up were observably less than 10.

Other two people who got paid labour without the report necessarily indicating the type of services provided. One got MK 130,000.00 and the second one got MK 5,000.00.

The report also shows that the committee spent about MK 142,900.00 in purchasing a laptop and office printer (at MK 45,000.00), things which were not on the initial expenditure budget because they are fixed assets.

While the officials were happily remunerated for their voluntary work, the participants had to endure hunger, as the food that was being served at the event was inadequate despite having also contributed MK 300.00 for the food coupon. The  delegates both from other countries and from Malawi were seen scampering  for junk food items like  chips, buns and juices which were being sold by vendors outside the stadium.

Vice Chairman for this year’s organising committee sheikh Aman Matiya even confirmed about the food shortage that was apparent on Friday and Saturday when this website sought clarification from him.

The financial report indicates that the committee had close to K8.7million against the initial budget of MK8million targeting 5,000 participants. This excludes MK1 million which Vice President of the Republic of Malawi Khumbo Kachali donated to the working committee which has conspicuously not accounted for in   the report.

The report further shows that Sidik Mia  donated about 100kgs of meat although reports from reliable sources indicate that he donated about 200 kgs.

It is against this background that the Muslim Association of Malawi decided to dissolve the committee to pave way for proper and independent investigations to critically analyse how all the funds were spent when people went on empty stomachs throughout the event.

The deposed organising committee were not reached to comment on the allegations of financial mismanagement being levelled against them.

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