Seven Malawian Muslim students at International University of Africa (IUA) in Sudan appeared in court on Sunday in Sudan following their arrest on 21 May by Soba police. They were expected to take a plea on allegation of beating up fellow Malawian student for spying on them.
The students Rasheed Kadwala, Rodriq Chipande, Sulaiman Jalasi, Yusuf Maundala, Clement Chipande, Issah Eliyasi and Meemu Awali are among 171 needy students that were sponsored by Malawi Islamic Zakaat Fund (IZF).
They are alleged to have been arrested following orders from executive director of the IZF in Malawi Muhammad Osman a Sudanese national who heads Radio Islam for assualting a fellow student.
But the students’ leaders at the University told Nyasa Times through a statement on Sunday that the arrest was a ploy by Osman and other Muslim leaders in Malawi to silence the students who are demanding monthly allowance increment due to predicament they are facing.
“Islamic Zakat Fund Director Muhammad Osman cold-shouldered students’ request which influenced them to boycott monthly allowance of April,” reads the statement
It says the situation was very unpalatable when Osman stopped responding to emails from students union which forced the students to hold vigil on 7 May 2015 at Munazamaat Dawa Islamia offices where they receive their monthly allowances so that their grievances should be addressed to him as it was only means they had to communicate to him.
“Alas, he stood his grounds that he will not increase the $38 they are receiving now. In his memorandum he said those who will not receive the monthly allowance should send their names to IZF so that returning air ticket should be prepared for them” reads the statement.
It says the students had no option but sending the names to the organization which brought them to Sudan which is distancing itself from their concerns.
“168 students out of 171 students demanded air ticket as situation is becoming tougher every day. ”
However, the statement says IZF organized meeting with parents at ZODEC in Zomba during which Osman brainwashed the parents by claiming that the students broke the computers of the university.
“It was very unfortunate when one of the graduates at IUA who attended the meeting wanted to comment about situation students face when she was silenced by Ibrahim Milanzi (close friend to Muhammad Osman). Instead he appointed Alhaj Kawinga to be representative of parents who is also close friend to Muhammad Osman.”
The statement says it was on 21 May when seven students were falsely accused of beating the spy of IZF.
“Osman insisted that the seven students should be detained at Soba police station in a filthy cell temperature 50 degrees Celsius. To make matters worse Alhaj Kawinga sent a message on whatsApp after emergency meeting with Osman which reads: “muona mafana simunati ndimakuuzani ine ndipo mupepese pasanathe 30 minitsi (you will see and this is just beginning and you are supposed to apologise in 30 minutes time).
According to a statement the students kept the vigil at administration offices the whole day demanding the release of seven students who were ill-treated by not allowing people to give them food.
No statement was taken from them but police officers kept on torturing them by beating and pulling hair on their heads. “You will know who Sudanese are” one of the policeman said.
“It was around 8:00 pm when five students were released . The remaining two were alleged to have committed a crime within the cell.
“This angered the students who had been at the administration offices since morning waiting for their colleagues to be released. Lucky enough the vice chancellor Professor Ubeiri Kamali was called to address irate students and he was very concerned with the matter he said was ignorant about it.
He promised that he will take into consideration and applauded the students for the unity they showed and he went to the police station where he accused the officers of arresting the students for no apparent reason. The two were released around 11pm.”
The students are therefore requesting IZF that if they know that they will not meet the demand of the students they should send them returning air tickets and they not take advantage of their poverty by ordering the arresting arrest of innocent souls.
“They did not choose to be poor, it is Allah’s plan. It is very unfortunate to see that they are teaching Islam of which they are not practicing.” concludes the statement.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :