Malawi Muslims cancel Ijtima after Mutharika meddling

Idruss: Accused of soliciting money from Mutharika

Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) has announced the postponement of this year’s annual Islamic preaching convention popularly known as Ijtima after Muslims reportedly got annoyed that President Bingu wa Mutharika wanted to use his funding to “corrupt” them.

The three- day gathering was scheduled to take place from 28th -30 October at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre.

Muslims accuse Secretary General Sheikh Dr Salmin Omar Idruss of soliciting money from Mutharika to fund the event and turn it into a ruling DPP campaign for its presidential candidate Peter Mutharika.

But Idruss denied approaching State House for funding but attributed the postponement to financial problems.

“This decision has been reached at due to financial constraints. As everyone is aware that this function requires a lot of funds for it to be a success,” he said on Radio Islam.

Idruss already linked with Mutharika o a scheme to use some Muslim for Peter Mutharika campaign had an audience with the President, but said he only mentioned about Ijtima.

A budget for the Islamic prayer was pegged at K7 million.

President Mutharika is reported to have offered to meet the budget of the Islamic gathering and Moslems did not contribute anything.

National Islamic Ijtima Committee secretary, Sheikh Cassim Chongolo, said they will still hold the annual Islamic gathering in not too distant future.

Meanwhile, MAM vice chairman Sheikh Shaibu Ibrahim was heckled by Muslims at Hotel Victoria in Blantyre on Saturday during the 10th anniversary celebration of Radio Islam when he announced the cancelled Ijitma would text place in November.

He was told by some sections “go to hell.”

Ijtima means ‘gathering.’ Devout Muslims gather with great scholars and other people to share the word of Allah from the holy book of Quran. It is the first time for the event to be cancelled in Malawi.

However, Central Region Muslim Women Organisation (MWO) recently held their successful Ijtimah after being funded by First Lady Callista Mutharika with a donation of K2 million.

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