UDF Still To Have A Presidential Candidate
United Democratic Front (UDF) future looks dim as three of their prominent members have joined Joyce Banda’s government and are in danger of not having a presidential candidate for 2014 general elections.
The new president Joyce Banda has appointed the young Muluzi, Ibrahim Matola and Cassim ‘Kaka’ Chilumpha in the new cabinet shattering their ambitions to contest for the top job in 2014.
On Monday the young Muluzi said he was never interested for the top job but only to bring about change in the country.
However, that is contrary to what was really happening as he was vigorously positioning himself for the top job.
Atupele’s situation has put the UDF party in dilemma once again, as they now seem not to have a presidential candidate.
During 2009 general elections, the party also failed to field a candidate as the laws of the country did not allow Dr Bakili Muluzi to contest for the third time. This left the party with no choice but to form an alliance with MCP and they failed miserably against Bingu Wa Mutharika.
However this time UDF secretary-general Kennedy Makwangwala whose camp supported the young Muluzi told a press conference on Monday that, despite the party’s decision to allow two of its legislators to be roped in President Joyce Banda’s Cabinet, the party will not make a mistake again to go to polls without a presidential candidate.
Makwangwala claimed the yellow party is intact and will go ahead with plans to contest the 2014 parliamentary and presidential elections. He also said the party is planning to hold a convention between September and November this year.
But recently, party members paid Bakili Muluzi a visit seeking clarification on the party’s participation in Joyce Banda’s all-inclusive government.
According to reports made available to Malawi voice, former president Muluzi assured them that Atupele’s Agenda for Change will continue and that he will make sure that UDF takes over the government comes 2014.
“And after his speech, we also resolved to work with government on UDF ticket.” said the source who was in that meeting.
In a separate interview, Chiwaya who has now taken over from Ibrahim Matola as leader of the party in parliament, said the MPs are yet to decide whether to maintain their positions in the opposition benches or join the government benches.
“We have not yet come to an agreement on that. At the moment as MPs we do not understand the working modalities with our colleagues People’s Party. There is need for the two parties to sit down and discuss how we are going to work,” said Chiwaya.
The UDF party has been divided for a long time with the Muluzi camp one side and the Cassim Chilupmhpa- Friday Jumbe camp on the other side.
The Muluzi camp was blamed for campaigning for Atupele as presidential candidate without the party’s blessing.
This development led to some of it prominent members to going Joyce Banda’s party while blaming Bakili Muluzi who is said retired, to be behind the division to allow his son to be president.
The two camps had been firing and suing each other with accusations all over in the media.
Now three of it prominent members seem to have joined the ruling party and the remaining UDF members say they will solider on.
Their departure doesn’t affect us, as a party we can not dissolve ourselves. We will support government but elections are a different issue,” said Mpasu an old-time member .