POLITICIAN and businessman, Sidik Mia, is “ deeply disappointed” by the reluctance of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, DPP, to distance itself, punish, or say it is sorry, over Islamophobic remarks that one of its officials has been saying in public.
Julius Pipe who is the DPP’s governor for its eastern region, told people at public rallies not to vote for the MCP in next year’s general elections because Mia who is aspiring to become the MCP’s Vice President, is a Muslim and that all Muslims were war mongers.
The DPP has so far, not punished Pipe nor distanced itself from his remarks. Its spokesperson, Francis Kasaila who is also a cabinet minister responsible for youth and sport, Pipe’s anti-Muslim remarks were his personal views and not of the DPP.
Pipe’s remarks, however, caused the DPP’s district campaign director Wellington Mangulenje to resign from the party.
Mia said in an interview with Bright Malenga who reports for The Express, that by failing to act against Pipe, the DPP was demonstrating that it was in support of what Pipe had been saying.
“I am a peace loving Muslim and so are my fellow Muslims in the country. We are not warmongers.
“For instance, the first Head of State in Malawi’s multiparty democratic era was Dr Bakili Muluzi who is a Muslim. He was head of State for two consecutive terms. Did he cause war in the country? Muslims are tolerant of other religions,” Mia said.
He also gave an example of his relationship with MCP president Lazarus Chakwera who is a Christian.
“You may wish to note that I even attend Christian gatherings when invited for their fundraising events or to other important Christian ceremonies. The same applies to our Christian brothers and sisters, they equally attend our important functions when we invite them.”
Mia added: “We, Muslims and Christians, live peacefully together and we must not allow misguided individuals such as Pipe, or parties such as the DPP, to sow seeds of hatred and discord in our country. We say no to such childish, divisive and irresponsible remarks from DPP through their senior official Mr Pipe.”