How Important Is A Muslim Vote?
As Malawians get prepared to vote for their favorite president in the forthcoming fresh elections Muslims are divided as to whom should they vote for? Looking at the Malawi constitution, every Malawian has a right to vote or to be voted for at, any position. However, it is worrisome that there are cases where sometimes few people feel that certain group of people are not eligible to be leading this country while at the same time confidently think that they are the only ones entitled to be leaders.
Given the above situation, one would therefore argue where is democracy in a heterogeneous nation like Malawi where we have less than Ten Tribes like the Yao, Ngoni, Lhomwe, Tumbuka, Chewa and few others. Notwithstanding this fact one tribe still wants to dominate the other. Whereas in countries like South Africa they have Twelve Tribes but they live in harmony. Take African National Congress (ANC) for example. The party has been in power ever since the fall of Apartheid (The system of institutionalized racial segregation against the blacks)
Some of the reasons why this happens is because the party accepted that all tribes are equal before the South African Law therefore, everyone is entitled to compete in the political sphere as long as they are fit for whatever elective position which is desired. The ANC has therefore managed in this case as a result after the Rule of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki who were both from xhosa Tribe in Eastern Cape, then followed Jacob Zuma who is a Zulu from Kwazulu Natal and then incumbent Cyril Ramaphosa who is a Venda from Limpompo province.
There have never been challenges of leadership or succession plan crisis as compared to what Malawi has experienced. For instance Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda never groomed anyone to take over from him as a result his Party the Malawi Congress (MCP) came out of government until to date, Similar thing happened to United Democratic Front (UDF) it went out of government because there were no succession plans, today almost all the parties are facing the same challenge.
Having said the above, the question remains, since there is no Muslim presidential candidate, who should Muslim voters give their vote to? Although there have been calls from political leaders not to play a Muslim card campaign as there is no room for any president to declare Malawi as a Christian Nation. This comes amid outcry that some political leaders have taken the blood of others as a milestone to give them a vote. According to political rights in the constitution of the Republic, there is a provision of equal rights to vote or be voted for. Therefore, there is no way one would think others are not eligible to hold public office because they are of different ethnic group or faith.
From this background it is also therefore wrong to think that as a Muslim candidate, people should vote for you just because you are a Muslim. Such being the case, Political leaders are advised to woo votes from every Malawian with facts and not by wearing an Islamic attire as witnessed recently by some politicians because this is a mockery to the peaceful Faith. This is how important a Muslim Vote is unfortunately Muslims themselves are not aware how their vote is important.