Muslims push for separate pork market in Mzimba

Muslims in Malawi’s northern district of  Mzimba are asking M’mbelwa District Council to establish separate selling points for pork from other meat in the district’s markets and have threatened to use force should the authorities fail to meet their demand.

This comes four month after Village Headman Busiri of Traditional Authority Chowe in Malawi’s southern district of Mangochi issued a seven-day ultimatum to pig farmers to leave his area.

The chief also said the farmers would risk forceful eviction should they fail to comply.

The state run Malawi News Agency has quoted Chairperson for Mzimba Halaal Committee, Ishmael Mponda, who telling a press conference that Muslim leaders have agreed to stop buying meat in the district until the council finds a place solely for pork selling.

According a  letter read out to the reporters which was addressed to the Council signed by Coordinator of Halaal Department in the district, Jennat Champion Ligomeka and Mponda muslims had been pressing for a separate market since 2007.

“It is clearly stated in the Quran, in Sula- Medan 5 V 3 which says people are not supposed to eat pork or any animal which has died on its own as it is considered as unclean,” Mponda said.

“Because of this, we are appealing to all the Muslims across Mzimba to stop buying meat from the market. Again, we have instructed our Sheikhs to stop transacting any business at the slaughtering points until our demands are heard with effect from 1st March.

“If the council does not respond to our request, we are ready to use force to deal with the situation,” Mponda added.

He further asked the council to consider providing two animal doctors who examine the animals before they are slaughtered, saying the one at the moment uses one tool of which is also considered as unclean to Muslims.

Director of Planning and Development for M’mbelwa District Council, Humphreys Gondwe, said he was aware of the issue.

“The Muslim Committee and Mzimba Market Committee were told to identify a place to construct the butcheries but they delayed to report to us but we are ready with the construction,” Gondwe said.

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