Matola formally quits UDF, joins Malawi’s ruling PP

Malawi’s deputy Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Ibrahim Matola has formally announced his resignation from opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) and that he is a member of the governing Peoples Party (PP), Nyasa Times can reveal.

Matola broke the news exclusively to Nyasa Times from his base in Mangochi where he is also the serving Parliamentarian.

He said it has taken him a while to make such a decision as he was consulting his constituents and claimed that a majority of them gave him the go ahead to quit UDF, a party he has served since launching his political career in 2004.

“As i’m talking to you now i’m putting on an orange golf-shirt symbolizing the beginning of my new political journey,” said Matola who served as UDF leader in parliament before he switched his allegiance to PP.

“ To be frank with you I have nothing personal against Atupele Muluzi and entire UDF leadership. We remain best of friends and I informed them about my decision because I believe time has come for me to serve the interests of President Mrs. Joyce Banda and her PP. That is what I want and that is what my constituents want,” said Matola in a telephone interview.

Matola: In orange from yellow

Asked on whether he was put-off by not being given any position in the UDF following its recent elective conference, Matola added that he is satisfied with his contribution to the former ruling party but emphasized that it was time to move on and face new challenges.

“I was made in UDF politically and it has been years of ups and downs but I quitting a very satisfied person that the party now seem to have discovered its destiny. I’m wishing all my colleagues I have worked closely with in UDF the best of luck. From now on wards let the world know that I’m a PP member and I have informed the UDF leadership about this decision,” added Matola who until his time of resignation was regarded as close confidant and advisor to the UDF presidential aspirant Muluzi.

Meanwhile, confirming the development President Banda’s senior aide Rev. Malani Mtonga told Nyasa Times that the PP leader is on cloud nine with the defection of Matola he said is an important political figure of Mangochi who has the capacity to strengthen the party in the district as well as entire Yao belt.

“President Banda has received the news of Matola’s defection with joy. She said Hon. Matola is one of the few dedicated youthful politicians in the country and for him to join PP, it has really brought joy and excitement to  the president.”

“The president is a democrat and believes in political pluralism hence she regards the defection of Matola as a vindictive  factor that PP is indeed party for the people,” said Rev. Mtonga.

Meanwhile, UDF spokesperson Ken Ndanga, while confirming Matola’s resignation described the move as normal.

He said while Matola was one of senior dedicated members, his commitment to the UDF became talking point since his appointment into the cabinet.

“I don’t want to speculate but the writing has been on the wall for sometime. Actually since his appointment into the cabinet his contribution to the party has been minimal. Anyway, UDF would like to wish him well as he embarks on new journey,” responded Ndanga.

Matola has been seen in various PP political functions and it remains to be seen as to whether his joining of PP would affect the renaissance of young Muluzi’s agenda for change.

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