Some of the Malawi’s Muslims who have just returned from this year’s Hajj prayers in the Saudi Arabia’s City of Mecca are complaining of ill-treatment they got from authorities of one of the local organizers of the trip during their stay there.
One of the sheikhs, who went for the Hajj prayers under the aegis of the Malawi’s Almanask Travel and Tours agency which is owned by sheikh Aman Matiya the former presidential adviser on Islamic affairs, said they were being accommodated in below standard lodge which did not match the amount they paid for.
He said the room was too small and the most unfortunate thing is that it defied the Islamic dictates that does not require women to mix with men.
“The unfortunate part of it is that we were mixed with men and women and the food we were being provided for was also below standard,” he said.
The sheik who was among over 12O Muslims including Malawian Asians led by Matiya said before their departure they were asked to pay K500, 000 K each person for the trip.
“This was meant for hotel-standard-accommodation; return air tickets and other eventualities. But the treatment we got was not expected.”
He said Matiya had at one point failed to explain when some of them quizzed him on the poor accommodation.
“I have no doubt that he was doing this deliberately just to swindle some of the money for her personal gains. We know he is doing this because he is a business man and needs some profits. But he shouldn’t do this at the expense other people’s lives.”
Matiya’s phone could not be reached for his side of the story. But one of the officials from the Muslims Association of Malawi (MAM) confirmed that such complaints have already reached MAM officials and that Matiya is expected to be summoned before the MAM’s executive Committee next week to give his side of the story “or clear his image”.
“We are also surprised that since he came back from Hajj he had never reported to the offices to explain the details of the trip as he has been doing in the past,” said the official.