President of United Democratic Front (UDF), Atupele Muluzi, who turns 40 this week, took his party to the rural heartland of Mangochi on Sunday drawing mammoth crowds after he reclaimed his position unopposed during a convention at Comesa Hall in Blantyre last week.
Atupele, who is Minister of Health in President Peter Mutharika’s Cabinet, said he is now gained political experience running in presidential elections and being in government and that his emphasis ahead of May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections is on a “new beginning” for the party and bring in new ideas.
Upbeat and energetic, Atupele said: “The change that sits within my plan is based on experience and understanding – not of populist chants.”
“I am all for ensuring that we establish policies that are based on the will of the majority, but at the same time, we need to ensure that we use resources we have to achieve real development, build real jobs and deliver effective and essential services for all,” added the young politician.
He hopes that, come 2019, his youth will be the force that propels him to election victory against all the odds.
“We are in a unique position and we must not waste it. We must now work together in a single direction – I would welcome the opportunity to lead you in that direction and guide us into once again governing Malawi with a stronger and more stable economy, real jobs for all and the provision of universal health care and education for all.
“Together we can make change happen and establish a new beginning for our country,” he said.
Atupele said the UDF convention was an important step as it provided the opportunity to establish its leadership for 2019 elections.
“We now have a national executive committee ready to take us beyond 2019, many of who are with me here today,” he said.
“The elections are only 9 months away. We have much to do to explain our plan to develop Malawi. At the heart of our vision is the need to establish real, sustainable and valued jobs. Jobs that will mean that we can feed our families, educate our children and care for our parents,” he said.
“No one wants to rely on handouts, on goodwill – it is not Malawian. We are a hardworking people that deserve to benefit from that hard work” said the UDF leader.
Atupele hopes to ride a wave of youthful optimism to victory, emulating Barack Obama, Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau.
He stressed that UDF seeks a new beginning and will launch a vigorous campaign better than 2014 when he drew mammoth crowds with the ‘Agenda for change’ crusade that is now reset with ‘new beginning’.