APM needs Atupele now

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has shown incredible muscle to survive and adapt to political landscape, and come back when nobody expected it. President Arthur Peter Mutharika, or APM as his supporters call him, has always risen to the challenge, defied the odds and pulled survivor instincts.

Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi with President Mutharika

Mutharika came from the negative popularity of the DPP, including people celebrating the death of his brother, to unseat a President in a direct ballot and pip long time main opposition to second in 2014.

Largely Mutharika benefitted from the DPP infrastructure legacy of his brother late Bingu, unpopular cashgate scandal by his predecessor Joyce Banda, food shortage and unorganised Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

Mutharika made some mega promises, like Community Colleges, New Universities, Nsanje City Port, Presidential powers reduction, new Mzuzu and Chileka airports and others.

To Mutharika’s credit, he has delivered at least 50% of his promises especially infrastructure development, stabilised the economy and largely provided the most calm leadership Malawi has had for a while. We don’t hear Presidential rants on TV everyday, we are now used to a President whose tenure includes a record cut in his personal salary and less travels.

But 2019 watershed elections present something different. There is debate about his age. There are fights in DPP which mainly are about 2024 succession and then there are new comers and old timers in Politics.

APM is facing the biggest challenge yet. He will be rated for his performance the past five years, he will be facing his own deputy of five years, he will face youthful voters convinced that it is time for young people, and finally he will face questions about his team, many seen as tribalists who want another Lhomwe to succeed him.

In 2009, Bingu paired with Joyce Banda who had two hats, married in the North but from Zomba. The magic worked, he got a landslide victory. Those options in current Cabinet of 20 is wanting, very few Ministers have tried to curve a national image like the team of 2009 did to Bingu. Many Ministers and senior DPP officials are busy axing each other.

With Chilima and Manganya pair trying to tap both the Youth and Lhomwe vote, while Chakwera and Mia will try to get more in Lower Shire and Blantyre and Joyce Banda trying to spoil everyones chances, Atupele Muluzi and his UDF remain the safest pair of coalition for DPP.

AAM as Atupele is known, is a lovable face, but he has also a political base which PP and UTM does not have. He has Eastern Region and likely he would amass anything between 500,000 to 700,000 votes. Imagine Mangochi Central alone is 53,000 votes, which is almost all of Ntchisi or Nkhatabay or Chitipa.

The next election will be about figures and political base. With projected UTM disturbing in Balaka and Ntcheu and Northern Region, MCP making inroads in Lower Shire, all of which gave DPP and APM votes, Mutharika needs a recovery plan to make it on May 21. AAM has the votes.

Again, the challenge is on APM to provide his leadership and guarantee that he gets his final term and retire a happy man. After May 2019, Ministers and other officials can sort each other for 2024!

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Nyondo
Guest

That’s good people will judge them correctly for what UDF and DPP has done to Malawian

Rajab
Guest
Rajab

Atupele ndi wa APM kale ndale za ku Malawi zimenezo Apm akufuna abweze chipani komwe chinachokera

Mirella K
Guest
Mirella K

Brown Banda (please name yourself better. Stop confusing us!) this is one of the most mature political commentary I have read this year. Thank you

namasina
Guest
namasina

Atupele has not got the charisma to be vice president , full stop!

Mateyu salijeni
Guest

Dpp + Udf = finished

Peter + atupele = finished

Maduro
Guest

Chilima has devised a formula that APM will find it very hard to undo if he keeps believing that DPP is for the Lhomwes. Usi will do the spoils in the Lhomwe belt whether one likes it or not and what Baby Chilima has done is a very well calculated move to get Usi by his side although done at the eleventh hour.

Silica gell
Guest
Silica gell

The article is simply trying to find political accommodation for Atupele. With first past the post electoral system, DPP does not need alliance because all opposition contesters will share their piece meals of opposition votes.

Njolo mpilu
Guest
Njolo mpilu

No we dont want him on dpp.
Moreover he knows nothing about hralth t b a minister hence nothing has moved on in the sector than just making noise showing off his scombingo
Is doing this as an appeasement from peter to mluzi gogo

Tenzi Mzungu
Guest
Tenzi Mzungu

Good article I second

Mkaika
Guest
Mkaika

It is certain Atupele will not partner APM because its too late now. But it is unfortunate. Apart from Goodall Gondwe I can’t see anybody from the DPP who can add more than 100,000 votes to Muthalika’s. And with Atupele going it alone Muthalika votes will largely be from the Lomwe belt. I doubt if that will be enough to edge out MCP the only party so far to have got the running position right. UTM has goofed big time. If they wanted a Lomwe then Kaliati was much better. The best for them within their ranks was anybody with… Read more »