Mangochi chief gives pig farmers 7-days to leave ‘Islamic State’

Village Headman Busiri of Traditional Authority Chowe in Malawi’s eastern resort district of Mangochi has issued a seven-day ultimatum to his subjects rearing pigs to leave his area failing which he will instruct what he calls “concerned Muslims” to forcefully evict them.

This comes few days after some sections of Muslims in the district claimed that they have declared the eastern lakeshore resort district an Islamic State after the court there ruled in favour of the Muslims who confiscated pork from a trader who was selling it in an open market.

Some Muslims in Mangochi last week carried a placard which had words written “Say no haram foods in Mangochi the Islamic State,” followed by unsolicited text messages, saying the district is now an Islamic State.

In a letter addressed to Mangochi police station on Wednesday seen by Nyasa Times , Village headman Busiri says he doesn’t want his area to be infested with pigs considering that it is predominately Muslims whose religion doesn’t tolerate pigs.

Sheik Dr Omar Idruss, Secretary General of MAM: Malawi is a secular nation

“My area is predominantly Muslims, so I can’t allow strangers to spoil my area with pork,” he says.

However, Mangochi police officers tried in vain Wednesday evening to remind and reason with the local chief that Malawi is a secular state and that any decision to the contrary is tantamount to breaking the law of the land.

“Though he indicated that he had taken heed of the police advice, we later got information from some of his subjects that he has vowed never to rescind his directive,” said a police officer who was among those who tried to reason with the traditional leader over the matter.

Reports reaching Nyasa Times also indicate that Muslims in district are planning to hold a news conference on Thursday to speak against senior Muslim clerics who are condemning the declaration of the district to be an Islamic state.

The Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) chairperson Sheikh Mohammed Idrissa and one of the prominent sheikhs Dinala Chabulika strongly condemned the conduct of some sections of Muslims in Mangochi who claim that they have declared the district an Islamic State saying Malawi is a secular nation and people must tolerate each other.

“When did Mangochi become an Islamic State? Do those who say that know the meaning of an Islamic State? Why do they want to confuse people? This is uncalled for; it should not be entertained at all cost.

“Malawi is a secular state where we have people with different religious ideologies therefore coexistence needs to be emphasized. So, no one should say this district is an Islamic State because there are many Muslims. What about other districts which are also predominantly Muslims? We need to be serious.”  Said Chabulika in an interview with Malawi Muslims website.

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