Malawian Muslims have to wait a little longer to have their own Islamic University, as the working committee that was formed to initiate the project wants Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) not to be involved, Malawi Muslims Official Website has established.
Reports reaching this website indicate that the initiative is halted due to internal politics in the committee as some key members do not want MAM to be the key stakeholder despite being the Muslim mother body.
The committee was formed in 2008 at Malawi’s Former president Bakili Muluzi residence at BCA in Blantyre with Doctor Mustafa Hussein as its chairperson and Sheikh Mustahab Ayami as coordinator.
One of the members who asked not be mentioned confirmed the development in an interview.
“Some key members have ulterior motives that’s why they don’t want to involve MAM, a situation which is awkward because as a religious institution it was supposed to be under the mother body like the case with other religious institutions,” said the source.
He added that this scenario is negatively affecting the conclusion of paper work for the project as MAM is strategically positioned to undertake the whole process with minimum resources.
For instance MAM offered Zomba High School to be turned into the University but the committee rejected the offer.
The umbrella body then offered Gada farm in Blantyre ,this time around the committee accepted the offer but instructed that the title deed should be given to the university trust which automatically means MAM ceases ownership of the land. But MAM reversed its decision to offer the land.
“Influential committee members who work for Islamic organisations want the university to be in Zomba with no interference from MAM. This why the committee rejected the offer at Zomba high school and the land fearing that it will be the key stakeholder.
Few months after rejecting offers from MAM, the committee received a land donation from Zam Zam foundation in Zomba city.
However, despite receiving land Malawi Muslims Official Website has found that the committee is yet to start groundwork.
And when this website tried to seek views regarding to the progress of the project, Dr Mustafa Hussein, refused to comment on the matter saying he has been out of the country for the past months.
He then referred the matter to Sheikh Mustahab Ayami who said there is progress on the project.
“The committee has inspected the land, what it remains is process of legal procedures so that the land should be transferred to the University Trust. Once everything is set, the construction work will commence.”
Interestingly, Sheikh Ayami’s response is similar to what Dr Hussein told Radio Islam on Tuesday September 13 2011.
Several prominent faiths in Malawi except Islam have in recent years, established their own higher learning institutions a thing, which has been puzzling many Muslims on why they do not have one despite Islam being the first religion to be introduced in the country.
Ironically, for over 30 years Muslim organizations have been spending a lot of money in sponsoring students to study in the countries like Sudan, Uganda, Malaysia and Tanzania instead of using the money in establishing a high learning institution in order to save costs.
However, MAM is working with an international organisation which also wants to establish the much touted higher learning institution.
“MAM has partnered with Direct Aid [formerly known as Africa Muslim Agency (AMA)] to come up with the university and that we are currently in the process of registration. Insha-Allah the ground work will start mid next year,” he said.
The SG could not mention the exact place for the construction of the university but said it will be in the Central Region.
The unavailability of the Islamic University in the country is denying several deserving Muslim students an opportunity to acquire higher education as not all of them can be sent outside the country and or enrolled in the public university.
Currently there are few Islamic colleges offering tertiary education such as Mariam Girls Teachers College, Maone Vocational Training College and International College of Business and Management.
Reporting by Robert Kumwenda, Marshall Dyton and Ali Blessings Idi