Malawi leader JB prides herself as ‘mandasi’ woman: Promises to build grand Mosque for Muslims in Mangochi

President Band addressing a rally in Mangochi
President Band addressing a rally in Mangochi

President Joyce Banda has said she will continue to grace events by grassroots people, saying that is why she is already referred to as the ‘fritters woman’ (mayi wa mandasi) in some quarters.

The first citizen was speaking when she graced the stone-laying ceremony at Lungwena Health Centre in Mangochi District, where she said it is in her nature to assist the poor and construct mosques and churches.

“I met women who go about assisting poor and vulnerable people and they asked me to handover keys for a house they have constructed for one of their poor. I said yes, I will do it because I go to the people. Staying at Sanjika Palace will not help the poor people, I have to reach out to them,” she explained during the event where she laid a stone to upgrade the health centre following a MK30 million donation from EcoBank.

The centre has only 8 beds in the maternal wing.

President Banda  told the gathering that her government has also brought about the economic recovery plan to enhance development in areas of electricity and power, which will be connected to about 27 trading centres, agriculture development where two centres in Mangochi will benefit as a business venture, among many other areas.

Banda inherited a government that had been facing acute fuel and forex shortages, grounding development programs as late Bingu wa Mutharika crossed roads against the donor community and other development partners, after he exeppeled then British Ambassador to Malawi, Dyet Cochraine.

She has managed to bring fuel but the about 50% devaluation and the automatic fuel pricing system is hurting consumers and the general public more, as prices for basic commodities keep to rise, as her administration strives to shoulder and balance the economy, following advice from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Mosque pledge

President Banda  assured the people of Mangochi that she together with her friends will build the state of the art Mosque in Mangochi.

Banda made the statement when she toured the land that has been identified for the construction of the mosque at the Mangochi Boma and enoted with a concern to see that Mangochi which is  predominantly Muslims district  has no a magnificent mosque.

Mangochi district has many mosques but were built along the roads and there has no a good; masjid especially at the centre.

“I have always believed in sharing the little I have. In my life I have built so far fourteen mosques across the country. To me I take this as a ministry. The quoran also encourages us to build better worshiping houses for Allah,” said President Banda.

The land according to Muslim officials in the district was earmarked for a secondary school but the elders have given the land for the mosque construction after the President asked for a good land for the mosque construction.

President Banda said the mosque which she will build in the district will be the first of its kind. She assured the people that came to see the land with her that the mosque she will build will be the biggest in the district.

“I  have so many friend who will build this mosque with me and all the friends I have contacted are more than ready” said President Banda

It was not immediately known how long the mosque will take and how much it will cost the President.

However, there are both negative and mixed reactions on the President’s pledge. Some people describe it as political,  while some says are  fruits  of the good relationship which exists between Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) and the current government.

During the same event, Banda also elevated Chief Makanjira into a Senior Traditional Authority with immediate effect.

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