Atupele resigns from JB govt: Quits as Malawi economic minister

Minister of Economic Planning and Development,  Atupele Muluzi has resigned from his post and quits the Joyce Banda government.

The Machinga North East lawmaker, who is opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) 2014 presidential candidate has tendered his resignation to President Joyce Banda on Monday.

“It is with enormous regret that I with immediate effect resign from the post of Minister of Economic Planning & Development,” the young Muluzi confirmed.

He leaves cabinet after the weekend drubbing by DPP top brass for his ambitions to run for president.

The foul-mouthed ruling People’s Party (PP) members attacked Atupele and his father, the former president Bakili Muluzi on Saturday in Mangochi at a rally addressed by President Banda and the Head of State also joined in the chorus of hitting Atupele , saying Mangochi people should note vote someone who does not come from the district and is not fluent in Yao  in apparent reference to her own minister.

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Atupele: Dignity is the most precious treasure of every human being

Those who joined the chorus of slurs were lawmaker Yusuf Matumula – ironically he was monopolising businesses during Muluzi regime-   and bad-mouthing vice president Khumbo Kachali.

Muluzi said he joined the government in “good faith” with hopes of shared common values.

“ I thus felt a moral responsibility to assist the government in paving an optimal path towards rectifying the political and economic decline largely attributable to mismanagement by previous dispensations and restoring, in some measure, the credibility and confidence that was subsequently lost. Neglect of these issues could have jeopardised the evolution of our fragile multiparty democracy and condemned Malawians to continued misery emanating from the throes of abject poverty,” he explained in a statement.

He said an inclusive Cabinet government “entails working in collective unison to secure economic recovery and harmonise our divisive politics.”

Atupele said he was  “appalled and mortified” by the verbal tirade some members of government launched on him “in a manner that lacked the courtesy, mutual respect and dignity that is expected between colleagues who strive together in pursuit of a common cause –  to serve the people of Malawi selflessly and to the best of one’s abilities.”

He added: “ I therefore as a matter of principle, do not believe that I can continue to serve as a Member of the Cabinet with the honour and dignity that is requisite for the performance of such duties and responsibilities incumbent with such a position.”

Atupele said he was “immensely grateful” to President Banda “ for giving me the opportunity to serve in her cabinet and the people of Malawi within my modest capacity.”

He also paid tribute to staff at the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development “for their support during my time as Minister.”

“I would like to assure all Malawians of my undiluted commitment towards the improved well being of all our people,” said Atupele.

Atupele stirred the nation with his ‘Agenda for Change’ campaign during the late president Bingu wa Mutharika’s leadership earlier this year and wants to be on the road again with the campaign.

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