Atupele is real deal for Malawi 2014 polls, says UDF SG Padambo

Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) secretary general (SG) Kandi Padambo has downplayed rumours that the newly-elected UDF chairperson Atupele Muluzi, who is Economic Planning and Development Minister will not contest for presidency in 2014, saying he is the real deal.

Padambo, a former acting chief executive officer (CEO) at Escom, told Capital FM Straight Talk popular interview programme that Atupele will be the torch bearer of UDF in the country’s first tripartite polls.

Presenter Rhodes Msonkho in his no-hold-barred style of questioning, pressed Padambo to comment on circulating rumours that Atupele will be picked by President Joyce Banda of ruling People’s Party (PP) as her running mate.

He said the rumours were unfounded, insisting  Atupele, son of former president Bakili Muluzi who ruled Malawi 1994 to 2004, will lead UDF and want a united front of all progressive forces.

Padambo: Atupele is real deal

Asked if he would want “another Muluzi” to lead the country, he responded: “I don’t mind having another Muluzi ruling this country just as Americans did not mind having George Bush being president following the footsteps of his father who was also the President of United States.”

On UDF chances in the forthcoming polls, Padambo said: “UDF has all it takes to win 2014 elecions.”

Padambo said UDF will pursue “an agenda for change” assuring that the newly rebranded party “will make many consultations as possible.”

He said: “We are going to do things differently to make sure the party becomes vibrant once again.”

Padambo, a wealthy businessman said: “A party is an institution that is run by a number of people. It is my view that political parties, the secretariat, should be run as any other business.”

He said UDF will advance “principles of accountability, transparency, good record keeping which apply to businesses.”

On when he became a member of UDF, Padambo said: “I have been sympathetic and I have been inclined to the values and ideals of UDF since its inception.”

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