Chaos characterised the Muslim Association of Malawi’s (Mam) elections that were held at the Comesa Hall in Blantyre on Wednesday.
Factions supporting two candidates—Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad and Sheikh Imran Sheriff—conspicuously showed their differences by manhandling each other as they protested against the delegates that entered the hall to vote.
After the dust had settled, the incumbent Chairperson Sheikh Muhammad outsmarted his challenger Sheikh Sheriff with 114 votes against seven.
Speaking with The Daily Times after the elections, Mam Patron, Sidik Mia, who bankrolled the elections to the tune of K1 million, called on both factions to unite for the good of the Muslim community.
“The position of national chairman was highly contested for but both factions must bury the past and work together. Islam is a peaceful religion and we need to show this in how we conduct ourselves every day. As their patron, I will be glad not to hear that some factions have taken an injunction against the election of Sheikh Muhammad,” Mia said.
Later, Mam organised a press briefing at its offices in Blantyre where the chairman-elect faulted the current Mam constitution as being behind the highly politicised elections at the religious body.
“Our friends conduct elections but they don’t attract chaotic scenes. The problem is with our constitution which created district, regional and nation structures just like a political setup. It’s easy for politicians to manipulate the structures and hold Islam at ransom,” Muhammad said.
He further observed that the constitution has no term limits and this can create chaos in future if people like him who have served two terms will want to seek a third term in office, a thing he said needed to be corrected before things get out of hand.
Sheikh Sheriff threw in the towel and accepted the outcome of the election and said he is ready to work with the chairperson-elect if need be.
Other positions like that of Treasurer General, Vice Chairperson and Vice Treasurer went to the aspirants without any contest.
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