MANGOCHI, April 10, 2014: There was drama at Mangochi Police Station on Thursday when Members of the Muslim Community stormed the establishment to have a person arrested for being suspected to be behind the assault of People’s Party (PP) Provincial Chairperson for the Eastern Region Samson Msosa released.
Msosa was earlier in the week attacked by some people he claimed were United Democratic Front (UDF) loyalists when he attempted to rescue one of the sheikhs who was abducted by Muslims believed to be UDF sympathizers at the district’s Islamic Information Bureau.
However, the claim was dismissed by UDF’s publicity secretary Ken Ndanga who distanced the party from the incident.
The accused Cassim Kasinde, 35, was released on bail after being cautioned by Mangochi Police on Thursday afternoon bowing to demands by members of his sect. He comes from Chowe village in the area of Traditional Authority Chowe in the district.
Mangochi Police Public Relations Officer Inspector Rodrick Maida confirmed the incident.
Maida said Kasinde was called for cautioning at the station on Thursday afternoon following assault of Msosa who suffered a deep cut in the head and was treated as an outpatient at Mangochi District Hospital.
He said the suspect has been advised to report to police again on Sunday. Maida said there was nothing strange in releasing any suspect after obtaining a caution statement which would in the end assist them to effect more arrests.
“Sheikh Kasinde has been released on bail since the police continues with its investigations on the matter,” Maida said. “Kasinde has been cautioned for unlawful wounding which is contrary to section 241 of the penal code.”
Speaking in a separate interview, Sheikh Jafali Katita who is the coordinator for Muslim Association of Malawi in Mangochi said the whole episode started during a meeting Sheikhs in the district convened on the dispute among two women Muslim groups in Mangochi on their participation in political functions.
“There are two Muslim women groups in Mangochi one is Muslim Women Organization (MWO) and the other is Muslim Women Association (MWA) who have different uniforms,” Katita said.
Katita said it was later found out that when going to political rallies the other group could wear the uniform that is not theirs which brought confusion among the Muslim women groups.
He added added that the coming in of Msosa infuriated the other group which complained that members of MWO masquerading as the MWA by using the black and white uniform instead of the blue and white when attending president’s political rallies.
“I was later informed by Sheikh Mwanyali who is a PP follower that he was being attacked by UDF supporters when actually the initial subject was the misunderstanding between the two women Muslim groups,” Katita said.
However, Msosa insisted in an interview recently that his attackers were UDF supporters.
“Some people are hiding behind religion to block others from supporting political parties of their choice. We’ll not tolerate that to happen since there’s freedom of association and that religion and politics should not be combined,” Msosa emphasised.