United Democratic Front (UDF) Presidential Candidate for 2014 tripartite elections, Atupele Muluzi turned the Lower Shire into election mood after mounting a two day intensive voter registration awareness campaign covering Nsanje and Chikwawa Districts where he promised to change the politics in the country into more civilized and based on ideologies.
Atupele also bemoaned the slow pace of registration caused by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).
He appealed to MEC to intensify and consider extending the registration exercise in some parts like in Nsanje where people are complaining that the slow pace of registration will disenfranchise them.
At Marka trading center, the message from the people was loud and clear as they demanded that the electoral body rectify the problem.
The UDF leader stated that his party will take up the matter with MEC as need to have confidence in the process leading up to the polls early next year.
On the political front, he promised to change the face of politics in Malawi and a new administration that will improve the delivery of public goods and services.
The UDF Leader and his team left Blantyre on Tuesday for Makhanga in Nsanje, before addressing rallies at Fatima in Nsanje, Livunzu and Dyeratu in Chikhwawa District.
On Wednesday, the UDF torch bearer hit the road again and addressed rallies at Marka, Nsanje boma and Tengani Trading Center. Thousands of jubilant supporters were all over the roads that led to all the venues of the rallies as they waved anything yellow as a sign of support for the UDF leader.
Both the old and the young thronged to the venues as some jostled to catch a glimps of the UDF leader, who on several occasions was forced to jump out of his car and walk with the multitudes for some distance as they sang and chanted songs in their local Sena language “timbafuna ife ngweneyu“ – this is the man we want.
He told the gatherings that he has an agenda that will bring real transformation to the country.
Atupele who turns 35 this year said however, social and economic transformation can only be achieved if we achieve political transformation.
“We need the political will to drive our transformative agenda and in order to do so Malawians must elect into office leaders that are not selfish and that have the welfare of the people at heart,” he said.
He said that the country needed strong governance structures to ensure that public funds are not abused willingly and that public officers are accountable to the citizenry.
The UDF torch bearer was blunt in his language saying that Malawi is still poor 49 years after Independence because of poor governance, lack of honesty, transparency and accountability, saying it is a situation which political leaders are deliberately not willing to correct.
“We have a problem in Malawi. Those we have placed our trust with public offices have let us down. There is little care for the people they are supposed to serve, but only think about themselves and those closest to them“.
He said that very important projects that have the potential to change the face of Malawi either gather dust or are conveniently stalled and despite funds in some cases being located year in year out.
Atupele said that those in a position of influence take advantage of Malawians because they are known to be patient. For example he said the importance of Chiromo Bridge in Nsanje which has halted the opportunity for rail transport for so many years now cannot be disputed.
He said that the rehabilitation of Chiromo is such an important project benefitting not only the people of Nsanje but the country as a whole.
The UDF torch bearer told the people that the Lower Shire has potential to feed the whole country on if government can give support through relevant infrastructure that include good roads and technical support to boost agriculture.
“We have plans for the World Bank funded Shire Valley Basin and Shire Valley Irrigation project gathering dust due to lack of political will to move these programmes forward. We need not displace thousands if our people in the process, there is another way that can work with our communities.”
The UDF leader continues his voter registration awareness campaign in Blantyre on Thursday 1st August, visiting Machinjiri, Chirimba and Chilomoni townships.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :