Blantyre:- Former Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) National Chairman Sheikh Yusuf Kanyamula has slammed the new parallel Ijtmah committee which is alleged to be influenced by Dr Imran Shareef.
Reports indicate that the new committee is aimed at disrupting the association’s 2012 Ijtmah.
This was last observed soon after MAM released names of the new ijtmah committee members late last week when the grouping comprising of ‘opportunists’ set up its own committee for the same event.
Last year, MAM cancelled the Islamic gathering which was initially scheduled to take place in October citing financial constraints.
Some traditional donors were reluctant to fund the function due unconfirmed reports that suggested the organizing committee approached Malawi’s former state President Bingu wa Mutharika to sponsor the event.
Because of this, the committee’s effort to source fund hit a snag after it managed to source three hundred thousand Kwacha only for the event which its budget amounted to 7 million kwacha hence putting the staging of the gathering in jeopardy.
However, Sheikh Shareef who is the chairman of Supreme of Ulamah Council in Malawi said from this year his organization would be responsible in terms of organizing Ijtimah.
In an interview Malawi Muslims Official Website last month, Dr Shareef said his organization was really upset with the MAM’s failure to stage the annual gathering last year and said they will still go ahead with their plans of holding the event this year.
“We still maintain our stand that we are going into organising this year’s Ijtmah. We are optimistic because we have the resources and we know where we can ask for funds to hold such gathering,” said Dr Shareef.
When asked what would happen if MAM will also decide to have theirs as they use to do every year, Dr Shareef had this to say:
“Then we will have two. But I doubt if they will manage again to hold such gathering because their association has no money.”
However, in response to the Dr Shareef’s remarks, Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad said the national Islamic Ijtima which was established a couple of years ago is under MAM and will still to be so.
The parallel committee is led by Biton Ajawa and Omar Ndeketa as its Secretary General. Other members on the list include Dr Imran Shareef Mahomed, Omar Ndeketa, Sheikh Muhammad Silika, Yahya Mmadi, Nurdeen Kaondo, Musa Chimbende, Dave Lali, James Kaombe, Abdul Aziz Onile, Sheikh Yusuf Kanyamula among others.
Surprisingly, Dr Shareef who is alleged to be the ringleader has not taken any key position.
Another astonishing thing is that the press statement that the committee has released, is signed by one person in both fields (Chairman and Secretary General) and it has no any logo for the claimed ‘National Islamic Ijtmah’ organisation – raising questions of its validity.
It has also been established that new members in the parallel committee have expressed surprise saying they were not informed of the development.
In his remarks, Sheikh Kanyamula who is former mam chairman distanced himself from the parallel committee saying that he could not destroy his own organisation.
“I am not part and parcel of that grouping. I just heard it from other people that my name is on the list but I was not consulted. I am the former National Chairman of MAM and I cannot work to destroy my organisation.
“The current MAM chairman [Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad] is the one who has a mandate to appoint members of the Ijtmah committee and this has been the case in the past even while I was there. MAM is the mother body for all Muslims in the country. For any organisation to operate its activities, it needs approval of MAM. So, where are these people taking the authority from? What the grouping is doing is recipe of disunity in the Muslim community,” he told Malawi Muslims Official Website.
Meanwhile, it is alleged that other people in the parallel committee have started approaching some potential donors telling them not to consider the committee which has been set up by MAM saying Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad want to use the event as a political platform.
Reporting by Ali Blessings Idi and Marshall Dyton