"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Muslims against Muluzi

Pressure continues to mount on UDF presidential
candidate Bakili Muluzi not to stand in next year’s elections with
fresh calls reportedly coming from the Quadria Muslim Association of
An impeccable source this week said some Quadria Muslims
have written a letter to be delivered to Muluzi asking him not to
stand. However, Quadria chairperson Al Haj Alick Likonde refused to
comment on the letter.
But a highly-placed sheikh said the letter is
circulating among some Muslims for signatures before being taken to the
former president.
“The letter is there and we want to take it to
Muluzi when he returns from the UK. We are asking him not to stand as
presidential candidate for the UDF because we feel he has done his
part. We are asking him and the national executive committee to choose
another candidate,” said the cleric.
On his part, Muslim Association
of Malawi (Mam) chairperson Sheikh Yusuf Kanyamula refused to give his
association’s position, saying they are not an affiliate of any
political party and it would not be in their interest to make any
“But what we want is to see that the rule of law is observed,” said Kanyamula.
alleged Quadria petition is circulating against the background of a
similar protest when Muluzi confirmed his interest to stand last
year—when the sect held special prayers against the former president’s
“We offered the prayers for him not to stand again. It will be a shock for him to stand after those prayers,” confirmed Likonde.
secretary-general Kennedy Makwangwala hang up his phone twice on
Wednesday when contacted for comment. He later switched it off.
the party’s director of research Humphrey Mvula trashed Quadria Muslim
Association’s position, saying the sect has been perpetually engaged in
an anti-UDF campaign for a long time and even during the 2004 elections.
said there is little that the UDF national executive committee can do
to reverse the presidential candidature of Muluzi when the national
conference and supporters chose him.
Said Mvula on Thursday: “They
[the Quadria] have never supported our cause. How can we take them
seriously? Are they speaking with a voice of reason?”
But Likonde
maintained that Muluzi should not stand again because, he said, he
should be satisfied with the 10 years that he ruled. Likonde argued
Muluzi messed up the economy and that security was compromised during
his administration.
The Quadria chair also said Muluzi should have
learnt from his failure to advance the third term and open term bids as
a message from Malawians that they do not want him again.
During his time, Muluzi also made efforts to change the Constitution so that he could continue ruling after his two terms.
Likonde: “Why does Muluzi want to rule again as if there are no
educated people in the UDF? Why does the party not openly challenge him
and choose somebody who went to school to lead the party?”
to Likonde, Muluzi should not be misguided by the people’s choice of
him in 1994 because Malawians were simply tired of the one party rule
then and did not care whoever would take over.
“In 1994, people had no time to scrutinise him. They simply wanted change. Even a chicken could have ruled them,” said Likonde.
He also claimed the former president applied a ‘divide and rule’ approach among Muslims.
chairperson claimed that during Muluzi’s time, 15 mosques that belonged
to the Quadria were burnt down in the Northern Region and that he did
not compensate them. The mosques have not been rehabilitated to date,
according to Likonde.
Asked whether his position is being influenced
by the recent donation of two vehicles and K5 million for the
rehabilitation of the mosques President Bingu wa Mutharika made to the
Quadria Association, Likonde said: “I have been saying this before and
that has been our position. It is not because of the donation. His
regime was bad and simply put, he is greedy.”
But Mvula described Likonde’s remarks as “malicious”.
is the work of persons doing a paid up job to damage the good
reputation of Dr. Muluzi,” said Mvula. “In life, religious leadership
should play the role of messengers of peace, unity and love even when
they have received  financial and material benefits from someone.”
also quashed Likonde’s statement that Muluzi messed up the economy. He
said in 2004 the inflation was at 8 percent, economic growth at 4.2
percent, the exchange rate at K109 to one US dollar and that the import
cover was at five months.
The figures, he said, are a sharp contrast to the economy Muluzi inherited in 1994 from the MCP.
Muluzi inherited an economy that was down on its knees with inflation
riding as high as 98 percent, a deficit of 22 percent of GDP and
exchange rates that had depreciated by 254 percent,” said Mvula.
2000, argued Mvula, the country had qualified for the Highly Indebted
Poor Countries (Hipc) initiative—with a debt cancellation of K1 billion.
Quadria Muslim Association of Malawi is the third group that has come
out in the open telling Muluzi not to stand in next year’s elections.
Early this year the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP)
also opposed the move.
In August, five UDF members met Muluzi at
his Lilongwe residence and asked him to convince them why he still
wants to stand again when, according to them, his candidature was
marred by controversy.
Section 83 of the Constitution stipulates
that a president can only serve for two five-year consecutive terms but
Muluzi and his lawyers insist the law does not affect him as he is
intending to come back after a five-year break. The Constitution is not
clear on whether or not one can come back after a break.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When things start to fall apart you can not bring them together. God is on our side, who can be against us? Forward with prayer, forward with Jesus, forward with the Lord of all!