Atupele plays down dismissal from UDF

Parliamentarian for the opposition United Democrat Front (UDF) for Machinga North East constituency Atupele Muluzi has maintained that he is not shaken by the move announced by some party gurus Tuesday afternoon that he has been expelled from the party with immediate effect.

During an impromptu meeting held at Victoria Hotel in Blantyre some UDF officials led by a member of Executive committee Sam Mpasu told reporters that the party has fired Atupele and the party’s Secretary General Kennedy Makwangwala and also has suspended the founder and  former chairman of the party Bakili Muluzi on various grounds.

He said Muluzi has been suspended because of confusion he is causing in the party.

Atupele: UDF belongs to people

“For example Muluzi although he announced that he resigned from the party has been forcing people to attend the meeting which has been organized by Makwangwala scheduled for Wednesday December 28 at UDF Offices and threatening to fire those who will refuse to attend,” Mpasu said.

Mpasu also accused Muluzi of clinging to 150 party’s vehicles and also misappropriating funds meant for party activities.

“Muluzi is taking UDF as his family business. Therefore we have summoned him for a disciplinary hearing to defend himself on his conduct”, said Mpasu.

He explained that should Muluzi fail to appear before the disciplinary committee they will decide what to do with him.

“As for Makwangwala he has been fired because of authoring a letter in which he announced that he has replaced all the exiting position with older ones dating back to 2009. We feel this was a gross indiscipline of the highest order to have committee by the party Secretary General”.

He said following the decision the party will make sure that Makwangwala has returned all the party’s property which is under his custody.

“We have fired Atupele because he has been forming parallel structures since he announced his intention to stand as the presidential candidate for UDF without approval by the party’s executive members. He has also been refusing to appear before the disciplinary committee on several occasions. So we don’t want him anymore”, explained Mpasu.

Nyasa Times tried in vain talk to Bakili Muluzi and Makwangwala as they could not be reached through their phones.

However Atupele said he has received the news with a surprise and deep concern considering that it has come at a time when there are plans to reunite the party.

“It is sad to hear that some party officials are organizing meetings with intention to demonize others. I wonder if what they are saying is serious. This is time for the party to sort out its internal problems and not for divisions,” the UDF deputy leader in parliament said.

Atupele said he hope all these would be sorted out during Wednesday’s meeting where all the party members are expected to discuss and sort out all the challenges that the party is facing.

But Ken Nsonda deputy publicity secretary for another faction in the party said they will not attend the Wednesday’s meeting because it had  been organized without the party’s consent.

Ex-president Muluzi was expected to leave for Zambia on Wednesday as a response to an invitation by the Zambian president Michael Sata.

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