For the second time, Dr Sheikh Imran Shareef, has been humiliated by his opponent Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad.
Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad has been given another chance to prove his qualities of leadership after being re-elected to carry the frag of Islam for the next five years as Muslim Association of Malawi’s (MAM) National Chairman.
This is following his landslide victory at a highly contested election which was held on August 31, 2016 at Comesa Hall in Blantyre.
Out of a total of 121 votes, Sheikh Muhammad amassed 114 votes, representing 93 percent while his contender Sheikh Dr Imran Shareef got only 7 votes with one vote declared null and void.
The position of Vice National Chairman is now occupied by Sheikh Yusuf Chibwana who went unopposed. Honourable Iliyasa Abdul-Karim is now a new Treasurer General and Bujard Kalera has maintained his position as Vice Treasure General.
The heated poll which has been described as the most free and fair by all observers, started exactly at 11.00 o’clock in the morning, after successfully controlling ineligibles from entering the voting hall to avoid commotion. Even renowned Sheikhs and other notable figures could not find their way at the entrance which was highly guarded by Police officers.
Only registered voters representing every district, regional committee members, MAM executive members and trustees, Islamic NGO representatives, election commissioners, candidates, and observers who included journalists were allowed into the hall, systematically seated in columns.
Nothing sinister or fishy, no irregularities, the process ran and finished smoothly. Commissioners did as expected of them, trustees were there to provide counsel and direction where need was, every voter participated, observers had an eagle’s eye and others watched as security tightened. All they waited for now, were the final results, their choices. The entire hall was engulfed in suspense. One could imagine how the candidates felt at this time; suffice it to say their hearts were in their mouth.
Letting the cat out of the bag was Board of Trustees Chairman for MAM Sheikh Ali Kennedy, who despite stammering for 30 seconds, he was finally able to announce that Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad carried the day.
There were huge celebrations and jubilation, hugs and congratulations to the crowned man. For his colleague who had his head in the clouds, it was a painful ending of a long journey. He painfully accepted the defeat, yes, appreciating the essence of a competition.
Gallantly walking tall towards the front to deliver his acceptance speech amid nods of heads from his cheerful fans, the triumphant Idrissa waved his hands across the hall, attracting a huge applause.
In what could be a repeat of his inaugural speech at Mpingwe Sports Club Mosque in 2011, Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad said praises to Almighty Allah and salutations to Prophet Muhammad SAW, before saying he was Allah’s choice because of his clean intentions.
“I would like again to thank Allah for choosing me to lead our organization. I am really humbled and honoured because it was another hot race. I would like to repeat what I said in 2011 to say those who have failed to make it should not engage in retrogressive moves because there is no opposition in Islam. I promise that I will work with everyone including other Islamic organizations.
“We are elected by people so that we serve them and it is God Who entrusts us with this noble responsibility. To me, I believe I have chosen because God has seen my intentions of taking Islam in Malawi to prosperity and I will continue doing that,” said the humble looking but fast speaking Muhammad.
The elected members will team up with new regional executive members led by Omar Beya Banda from the north, central region’s Ibrahim James Machokwani and Abdul-Hakim Ganda from the south. The new executive is expected to appoint Secretary General and his deputy appropriately.
Constitutionally, MAM is supposed to elect its office bearers every 5 years and the last elections were held in May 2011.