Atupele dismisses Mutharika talks, ‘no backing down’

Crowds of supporters at Njamba Freedom Park which attended Atupele Muluzi's UDF rally

UDF presidential aspirant Atupele Muluzi on Sunday laughed off talk that he is being hawked to partner Peter Mutharika of DPP as a running mate in 2014 elections, saying it is propaganda by his detractors.

Sam Mpasu of the other UDF faction accused the parliamentarian and son to former president Bakili Muluzi of having secret deals with the DPP to contest as running mate to Mutharika.

But addressing a record crowd in Blantyre on Sunday, Atupele dismissed the speculation as part of the propaganda machine, saying he expects more fabrication against him as he aspires to be a presidential candidate.

“I was raised UDF. I sleep, walk, and talk UDF. That is all propaganda,” he said.

Atupele said there was no foundation whatsoever is the allegation.

New thinking

The Machinga North East parliamentarian also said UDF must open its doors to allow new members to come with fresh ideas.

“I believe there are also other people out there who have some good ideas that can help the party. These are youths, women and men of goodwill. As a party we must listen to these ideas because the world has changed we need to embrace new thinking, new ideas,” he said.

“When we say new ideas we don’t mean to say that the old are not important. We need their experience to blend with the new ideas.”

He said the 2014 elections are not about personalities about issues.

“We have praised people before but they have failed us all. This time around the election will be issue based,” he said adding “As UDF we must not waste our time talking about personalities we must focus on issues.”

Candidacy

Atupele clarified that he was not the UDF presidential candidate but a mere aspirant seeking the party nomination through democratic means.

“I am not a presidential candidate for the UDF party yet and I have never said that I am the candidate. As UDF we must not waste our time talking about personalities we must focus on issues,” he said.

“All I have said is to express an interest and at the moment I have left the matter in the hands of the delegates to the UDF convention,” added Atupele.

“But I am with you all the way. There is no backing down. I am risking my life for you and I have done that knowing well the enormous battles and challenges that lay ahead,” he said.

“I will also continue to work together with the party in making sure that we reorganize the UDF especially at the grassroots level and mobilizing a lot of support for the party.

“This issue is not about me as a person and I must emphasize that it’s not about Atupele Muluzi but the country.”

The 33-year-old politician said he will follow the procedures on how one can be a presidential candidate in the UDF party.

Ever since Atupele declared his interest to run for presidency, some old guards in the party have been all out fighting his bid. He however has the backing of members of parliament and majority of National Executive Committee members.

Atupele: Addressing the crowds

Yellow youth: Girls posing for a photo at Atupele's rally

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