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“Atcheya” Bakili Muluzi celebrates his 81st birthday

Former United Democratic Front (UDF) and Malawi President Dr. Bakili Muluzi is today celebrating his 81st birthday.

The former Malawi Congress Party (MCP) General Secretary Muluzi, also known as “Atcheya” and “political engineer”, who ruled Malawi from 1994 to 2004 was born on 17 March 1943 in Machinga district.

Meanwhile, several people including UDF members have taken to social media to wish well the former President.

The father and funder of Malawi’s multiparty democracy Muluzi succeeded Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda as Malawi’s president.

He also served in Banda’s cabinet as minister without portfolio, before retiring in 1980.

He served as minister and secretary general of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) for years until he was dismissed for abusing party’s funds.

Muluzi was the candidate of the opposition UDF in the May 1994 presidential election, the country’s first multiparty election. He won the election with 47% of the vote, defeating Malawi’s leader since independence, Kamuzu Banda.

There was no provision for a runoff election in Malawi, so this was enough for him to end Banda’s 33-year rule (dating back to when Malawi was still a British colony)

Immediately he was sworn into office in 1994, Bakili freed political prisoners and re-establishes freedom of speech in Malawi.

He became an advocate for a constitutional change to enable him run for a third term close to the end of his two term tenure as allowed by Malawian Constitution, but protest and opposition forced him to abandon the idea.

Muluzi, who chaired UDF until 2019, has been widely described as a man of humor, charisma and great ideas.

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