United Democratic Front (UDF) president who is also Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Atupele Muluzi has dismissed rumours that he is being groomed as President Peter Mutharika’s successor.
Muluzi is the only presidential hopeful who lost in 2014 election serving in the Mutharika’s 20-member cabinet dominated by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members.
And Muluzi’s party, UDF which came fourth in the 2014 Tripartite Elections, forged a governance-deal with DPP.
In an interview during a Capital Radio Straight-Talk interview program, Muluzi shut down suggestions he would replace Mutharika and described such assertions as “unfounded’.
Mutharika, 75, has since vowed to run for a second term come 2019.
And asked if he is not disturbed by being moved from one ministry to another, Muluzi said: ”No, am not. I consider it as a collective cabinet responsibility, there is no distraction whatsoever”.
Muluzi added: ”I welcome the exposure and I will ensure that I serve Malawi and the President with the best of my ability”.
The son of former president Bakili Muluzi was moved from the ministry of Home Affairs and Internal
Security to the current ministry during a cabinet reshuffle several months ago.
During the interview, the soft-spoken young Muluzi was quick to brand as ‘misguided’ suggestions that UDF has been swallowed up by DPP.
”UDF is much alive and well; UDF party was and is a strong voice,” challenged Muluzi.
He argued that UDF is committed to the needs of Malawians and that the party is going through internal reforms following its poor performance during the Tripartite Elections.
Muluzi added that Malawi has huge challenges that needs collective responsibility, saying UDF will continue working with government in finding solutions to the social and economic challenges the nation is experiencing.