Atupele Muluzi, presidential candidate of the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) for next year’s elections kicked off 2013 with a whistle stop political meetings of some parts of Blantyre rural, specifically Lirangwe and Lunzu where thousands gathered despite being soaked in the rains to hear about the UDF’s agenda for change and renewal.
Machinga North East Member of Parliament (MP), 34, who has pledged civilized politics, used the meetings to outline the UDF’s roadmap leading up to 2014.
Atupele, son of former president Bakili Muluzi who ruled Malawi from 1994 to 2004, informed the crowds that UDF is reorganizing itself as “a movement aimed at spearheading transformational change in the country in order to help the people of Malawi fulfill their dreams and aspirations.”
“By the year 2014 Malawi would have attained 50 years as an independent nation. My generation would like to see Malawi embark on a new path to a better future,” said Atupele who resigned from the Cabinet last year where he served as Minister of Economic Planning and Development since April 2012.
“We need to begin the journey of political and economic transformation of our country. We need to wage war on poverty, greed and corruption,” said the presidential hopeful as the crowd, dressed in yellow, shouted in unison: “Atupele yemweyo!”
He slammed corruption, wrongful enrichment and greed, saying there was a real need for a rescue operation for Malawi from misery.
“We need a new Malawi where government is transparent and accountable to the people and where economic development benefits the many and not just a few,” said Atupele.
“That process begins by providing a clear vision and plan for Malawians that will unlock our country’s great potential and ensure all Malawians benefit from growth and success,” he added.
He said “the new UDF’s quest is to help all Malawians to reach their potential” and told the crowds that his party is “ready and prepared to provide new leadership.”
Atupele also said UDF will hold a policy convention to look at guidelines in job creation, food security, health, energy and water, among other issues.
“We will be announcing clear institutional arrangements, roadmap and policy issues around delivering on a New Agenda for Malawi. We want to encourage a public discussion on our policy proposals so as to ensure inclusiveness and ownership by all stakeholders,” he said.
“We would like Malawians to be informed early on what the new UDF stands for and what it aims to deliver on whilst in government. We want Malawians to make informed choices in 2014 based on policies. The UDF intends to lead in that process,” said the presidential hopeful/
Atupele said his party’s focus will be on four areas which he said they believe are critical for Malawi’s development. They areas are: Growth, Governance, Social Protection and Peace and Security.
“We intend to ensure that our proposals incorporate the voices of ordinary Malawians. We will in the next few weeks share some of our policy proposals with the public,” he said.
The presidential candidate said UDF intend to deliver on inclusive growth and with a clear focus on transparency, accountability and fighting corruption.
“We aim to deliver on equitable resource allocation across all regions, wealth creation and employment opportunities in Malawi. We aim to introduce new social protection policies that provide safety nets for the most vulnerable in our society whilst providing peace and security to our people, “he said.
He also confidently stressed that UDF will bounce back into government next year with supporters chanting “Atupele chaka cha mawa wa boma!”
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