Atupele denies electoral alliance: Talks tough on Malawi cash-gate

Leader of the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) Atupele Muluzi has dismissed as ‘just rumours’ reports of his intention to partner with any political party in the 2014 election and expressed confidence to contest single-handedly in the elections that are 7 months away.

Speaking during “The Candidate” program on the privately owned Capital Radio hosted by Madalitso Phiri Wednesday evening, Atupele assured his supporters that he will soon pick his running mate.

“I will stand as a UDF candidate during the polls. We are not making coalition with any party,” said Atupele.

He stressed that UDF has not discussed a possibility of an electoral pact.

Atupele: UDF presidential torch bearer on the platform of Agenda for Change
Atupele: UDF presidential torch bearer on the platform of Agenda for Change

Donor freeze

Atupele, who resigned from Joyce Banda administration as Economic Minister, also commented on the cash gate scandal which has forced donors to withhold their budgetary aid package – about   40 percent to the country’s national budget – saying the situation will bring a labyrinth economic problems to next government that would not be solved within a one year period.

He aid as such it would be naïve for Malawians to expect the next government to immediately redress the economic problems.

Atupele, however, expressed confidence of winning the 2014 polls and said whatever the case the problem will go way when he forms the next government.

“Although I can’t make weird promises, the fact is that at the moment we have fiscal crisis in the country and this can go away after the next elections and Malawians should know that the job of the next government will be to stabilize the economy and protect the poor from exploitation and we will do just that,” he said.

Atupele said his administration will achieve this by adequately funding all institutions tasked to reinforce accountability and transparency such as Ant-Corruption Bureau, Financial Intelligence Unit and the judiciary.

“We need to make new administration that will focus on transparency and accountability in all respect,” he stressed emphatically.

“As a country, we really have failed in this. We need to create a new culture of accountability and transparency so that all the government resources should be used for intended purposes,” said Atupele.

He pointed out that corruption scares away foreign direct investment, creates poverty, leads to unemployment, limits the ability of governments to raise tax revenue, results in a misallocation of resources, poor economic development, and a lack of competition.

He said it makes no sense when a President or an aspiring president making promises people about their plans to root out corruption.

“It’s not the job of the President or aspiring presidential candidate to come and say ‘I will fight Corruption’ because the President is not an investigation officer. What we are saying is that we will provide 100 % funding to institutions fighting corruption and leave them independent of carrying their duties without interference.”

He emphasized on the need to make sure that the country has an operating system that gives the poor a powerful voice that will be enable them to remove the government that will not meet their expectation.

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