United Democratic Front (UDF) presidential hopeful Atupele Muluzi on Thursday told supporters during a whistle-stop campaign meetings in Balaka that his party is poised to reclaim victory in the May 20 tripartite elections, saying it’s time for “ung’ono ung’ono” – referring to youth leadership.
The 35-year-old Atupele is the son of the former president and founder of the opposition UDF, Bakili Muluzi, who ruled the country from 1994 to 2004. He is the youngest presidential candidate ever in Malawi and is most popular among youth, who constitute more than half of the country’s population.
“I am convinced God willing (Inshallah), that we will win government,” Atupele told crowds in Balaka, evoking the winds of change that powered the country from one party dictatorship to multiparty democracy.
Atupele decried what he called “callous propaganda”, saying he is not being distracted but focused on reclaiming victory for UDF.
He dismissed allegations that his campaign is being financed by International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan and Zambia’s President Micheal Sata, saying “there is no grain of truth.”
In his campaign message, Atupele promised to create jobs and spread wealth.
“Malawi needs a leader who has a clear plan to turn around the economy and food security. This country requires a leader who places good governance at the heart of government operations,” said Atupele, attracting a chorus of whistling and ululating from his supporters.
He told the crowds that the UDF is ready to govern and ensure that public funds are channelled towards priority sectors.
Atupele said his government will do more to address poverty and seek policies that help the country’s poor share in economic growth,
“The fact that majority of Malawians continue to live in poverty is unacceptable,” Atupele said to loud applause supporters “It’s time to put Malawians first. This is a very important election for economic change . No-one should be above sharing the benefits of development.”
He added: “It is time to change, it is time for ung’ono ungo’no [fresh] ideas.”
Atupele promises Malawians a change in leadership style. He said his government will introduce clean politics devoid of mudslinging and self-enrichment which he noted has soiled the country’s political landscape since independence 50 years ago.
He said the May 20 elections signify a milestone for Malawi and described the elections as a game changer.
Speaking earlier one of parliamentary aspirants, doyen of Malawi music Lucius Banda, said Malawians will speak through the ballot not opinion polls.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :