President Joyce Banda on Tuesday joined thousands of Muslims in celebrating Ziyarah through a parade that took place in Blantyre. Muslims celebrate Ziyarah to commemorate the birth of their Prophet Muhammad about 1 435 years ago.
The parade started from Kanjedza Mosque to Kamuzu Stadium and the President joined the event at the Independence Arch.
Speaking after the parade, Banda called on the organisers to invite non-Muslims to such functions so that the celebrations should be inclusive of all people.
“I am happy that Muslims celebrate the birth of Muhammad, but I appeal to them that next year they should also invite non-Muslim members,” said Banda.
She explained that much as Christians celebrate Christmas (the birth of Jesus Christ), it is important that they should also celebrate the birth of Muhammad with Muslims.
Coordinator of the celebrations, Samir Jussab, admitted that there was need to invite other denominations to such functions.
“It was indeed important to invite members of other denominations, but we had a tight budget which hindered us. We hope that this will be different next year,” said Jussab.
A number of government and various political party officials joined the occasion. These include Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister Uladi Mussa, Transport and Public Works Minister Sidik Mia, Mines Minister John Bande and Tourism, Parks and Wildlife Minister Moses Kunkuyu.
Former President Bakili Muluzi also attended the function that included prayers at Kamuzu Stadium.