Opposition UDF president and 2014 presidential candidate Atupele Muluzi idea for change has earned him a nickname ‘Malawian Obama’ by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and supporters.
Barack Obama, America’s 44th and first black President just won his second term in office a week ago. He has been ardently championing the theory for ‘Change’ which has earned him hearts of many people across the globe.
Atupele, the youngest of all known 2014 presidential aspirants envisaged his ambitions for the top-most job on the land with an emulated Obama’s idea for change in 2011, which is swiftly becoming his political trademark.
At Njamba Freedom Park in Malawi’s commercial city, Blantyre, on Sunday where thousands of United Democratic Front (UDF) followers gathered despite being soaked in the rains earlier in the day, the young Muluzi was showered with praise and admiration with the supporters dubbing him “Malawian Obama.”
The supporter led by University of Malawi Polytechnic students, leaped around chanting “Obama! Obama! Obama!” now and then in reference to the young Muluzi who, pledged civilised politics.
The party’s new Secretary General, Kandi Padambo cemented it all in speech during the rally when he called Muluzi the “Malawian Obama”.
The Machinga North East Member of Parliament (MP), 34, who last week resigned from the Cabinet where he served as Minister of Economic Planning and Development since April this year, ironically has a son named Barak.
“I can see a young man right there dressed in UDF colours but also carrying an American flag. I thought for a moment and realised that what the young man is trying to put across. He is telling us that you are our Barack Obama. You are Malawian Obama,” Padambo said amid screams of cheers and chants from the crowd.
In his turn, UDF Regional Governor for the South, MacDonald Symon said the large turnout at the rally was clearly manifestation that people are not happy with way things are in the country politically and economically.
“This large crowd indicates that people are not happy with current administration. The cost of living is high, devaluation is hitting people hard, and so the only solace they find is in UDF’s manifesto for change. And definitely people are going to vote for you (Atupele) in 2014 because of your vision,” said Symon.
On UDF MPs in Parliament
In an interview, Padambo said NEC has agreed during its meeting on Saturday to let the lawmakers continue sitting on government side in Parliament tentatively until the party decides on the long term sitting plan.
“As Nec, we have decided to let the MPs continue sitting on government side until we hold another caucus with them and get their views before making a final decision on the long term plan.
“I know people are asking why they kept changing sides in the House, but that was done out of anger following the insults on our leader and his sudden resignation from cabinet. The MPs wanted to move with him, that is why they changed sides but UDF is organised party and we have sorted out the issue,” Padambo justified.
On the abolishing of position of party’s chairmanship from its constitution preferring the term ‘president’, Padambo said that was done to avoid creating confusion in the party as well as how people regard its leadership.
“Just like in other Sadc countries, the party’s leader is called president, and we thought it will be good if we do the same and defuse the confusion that resulted in the nomination of our current leader as chairman. From now forth, he will be referred to as president”.
Following the amendment, the party’s newly chairman, Atupele Muluzi has automatically become its president for the next five years running and UDF’s torchbearer in 2014 General Elections.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :