Hijab wrangle returns in Machinga as National Unity Ministry calls for PAC intervention

The Wrangles between Christians and Muslims that first erupted back in February at Catholic owned Mpiri Primary School in Machinga have returned.  The closure of schools due to corona virus pandemic appears to have given the wrangles a break, as reports indicate tension has returned amidst schools reopening. The genesis of the religious tensions was the demand by the Muslim community in the area that female learners be allowed to cover their heads (wear Jihab) at school.

Concerned people in the area, upon seeing and hearing of the threats that the Catholic church In the area was due to be torched, contacted the Civic Education and National Unity Ministry for quick intervention. It is reported that the chaos aggravated into physical fights and injuries resulting from an incident where some learners went to school wearing hijabs. This triggered some overzealous individuals who forcefully went in and started undressing the hijabs from the school girls. Police had to be deployed in the area to try to bring peace between the warring sides.

The Civic Education and National Unity Minister Timothy Mtambo said he was concerned with the resurfacing of these religious tensions. He was however optimistic that key stakeholders like the police, the community in the area, his ministry and the religious leaders will be key in bringing peace and making sure that a common solution should be found. Mtambo is on record as saying religious tensions require religious solutions. It is for this reason that his ministry has written a letter to Public Affairs Committee (PAC) asking for their quick intervention.

In the letter addressed to the chairperson of PAC , Mtambo has appealed for swift intervention highlighting the urgency of the matter “ I am aware PAC is still in the process of addressing  this underlying issue , However ,intervening in this crisis require extreme urgency  as delays my culminate into disturbance of Malawi peace and tranquillity “ reads part of the letter.