Government has failed to make a decision on religion-baseed dress code issue as to whether learners and students at an Anglican run schools in Mangochi should wear Islamic headscarf hijab or not, a bone of contention which has caused violence at the school.
The Anglican church has told learners and students at Mmanga primary school and secondary school in Balaka not to put on the Muslim women gear during classes, a rule which has caused clashes between the church and Muslims at the school and left several people injured.
In a statement, secretary for Education Justin Saidi said the government intends to ask the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) to come up with a final decision on the matter.
Regarding the wearing of hijab in schools, apparently there is no clear polocu on the issue.
At least four people were injured on Monday and a church, a masse and a mosque were destroyed in violence between Christians and Muslims on the matter.
Machinga district health officer Arnold Kapachika last evening confirmed receiving two injured persons, one of whom was a sheikh injured at a mosque that was stoned during the fracas.
The sheikh was later referred to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre for further treatment.
Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Upper Shire Brighton Malasa has since condemned the clashes between the Christians and Muslims.
Malasa described the issue as a national matter.
“This is not an issue between the Anglican Christians and Muslims, this is a national issue and all parties need to critically look into this,” he said.
Police managed to calm the situation on Monday after the violence but the situation remains tense today, Tuesday.
The anarchy near Mangochi Tunr-off in Blantyre, comes against a background of a spate of students rioting, torching and destroying school property at Thyolo, Lunzu and Blantyre Secondary School, among others.
Commenting on the matter, Chancellor College social scientist and specialist in peace process Master Dicks Mfune said the Liwonde incident and several others happening in the country were an indication of people’s expression of anger and dissatisfaction over the current government’s status quo.
“This is like a ventilation window where people have found an opportunity to express their anger and views on how the government is running the country… So, what we want is a political solution,” he said in quotes reported by The Nation newspaper.
Mfune said while he appreciated President Peter Mutharika’s extension of an olive branch for peace talks, such need to be in good faith and should not only involve Malawi Congress Party (MCP), UTM Party and the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC).
He said: “This is because the situation has now escalated. It’s like bushfire so he should go for a national peace building conference and bring every stakeholder together to find a solution that can heal Malawi.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :