Atupele Muluzi, presidential candidate of the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) in next year’s elections, on Sunday embarked on a whistle-stop tour in commercial city of Blantyre and talked tough, saying Malawi is “broken” and needed to be fixed with “new generation” of leaders.
Atupele stopped at Che Mussa, Nkolokoti and Bangwe townships where he rallied one of the largest audiences as thousands of people converged to take a glimpse of the youthful presidential hopeful.
Atupele said: “As you know we have been moving up and down the country meeting many ordinary Malawians. Everywhere we are going, thousands upon thousands of people are welcoming us; they have a message. That message is that things are very bad in Malawi. Life is hard and getting harder for ordinary people.”
The UDF president emphasized the need for the new generation to take up a leading role in the political and economic transformation of Malawi, stressing that the youth are going to drive the change next year.
Atupele confidently said he was “ready” to give Malawi “ a new begining ” and “renewal” with his speech focusing hard on the economic nitty-gritty and promise to offer a concrete agenda for change.He said about Malawians suffering : “A young man or young woman wakes up in the morning: school certificate in the pocket, yet there is no work. Nothingto do. We have many talented youths in this country and that talent is being wasted.”
Adding: “Parents are waking up each day not knowing where money is going to come from to put food on the table. Not knowing how they are going to pay the rent and send kids to school.
“When family members are sick, the public hospitals have no drugs. As I speak now we have a national health crisis. There are literally no drugs in our hospitals. Malawi is broken, our country is in crisis,” he said
Atupele who was was interrupted by the crowd at one point with cheers of, “We want Atu!” said economic recovery “can’t be measured in speeches but in achievements.”
He said Malawi will next year attain 50 years as an independent nation but still one of the impoverished countries in the world, saying “Malawians must prepare for a political revolution in 2014.”
“In 2014 there is a need to rebuild our nation. We can begin by bringing forward new talent with new ideas. A new way of doing things,” he said to throngs of cheering supporters.
Atupele called for an end to “politics of hatred.”
Ruling People’s Party were reported plotting to stop Atupele from contesting next year’s elections – by all means necessary.
Without commenting on the issue, Atupele said “the road ahead is expected to be long and arduous. We expect obstacles. However with your support I am determined to stay the course. I will persevere because perseverance builds character. Character builds hope. I intend to bring hope to Malawians.”
Atupele said the new UDF was growing from strength to strength and would win the next year’s polls clean, drawing the football analogy that the game would end in 90 minutes with no extra time.
UDF secretary-general Kandi Padambo said Atupele is the “real deal” for Malawi.
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