Atupele postpones tour to mourn 3 UDF top members

Malawi’s opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) Presidential Candidate, Atupele Muluzi, has postponed his whistle-stop tour of Phalombe District in order to mourn the death of the party’s National Campaign Director, Edward Chitete and two National Executive Committee (NEC) members.

The three died in a fatal road accident that occurred Monday night near Lizulu in Ntcheu district on their way to attend a NEC meeting in Blantyre.

Late Chitete and the two NEC members, Zitha Kaphwiti Banda and Daudi Masuku, died on the spot in the accident that also claimed three other passengers.

Police identified the other three passengers as Libereta Mpewa and her two children- Felista and Blessings.

Atupele: Joined mourners
Atupele: Joined mourners

The youthful UDF presidential candidate was scheduled to conduct whistle-stop tour in Phalombe on Wednesday but postponed it to unknown date to pay his last respects to the three senior party members.

UDF Publicity Secretary, Ken Ndanga, said the party called off its NEC meeting as well as the Phalombe tour and new dates will be announced later for both events.

Ndanga also said his party was in great shock with the untimely death of the three party members.

“As a party and the UDF family, we are saddened with this sudden death as you know they were not ordinary members but senior party members who dedicated their great part of their lives in ensuring that the party remains strong and a hot contender during next year’s elections.

“The members have also been with the party through turbulent times and their death is something that has created shock within the party. Additionally and most importantly, these were youthful leaders who would have taken the party to greater heights,” mourned Ndanga.

Ntcheu Police Spokesperson Gift Matewere said the accident occurred when a driver of an oncoming lorry tried to overtake another vehicle only to collide with the saloon car late Chitete and company were driving in.

“The lorry, a 10-tonner registration number KA 4830 was coming from Ntcheu going towards Dedza when its driver tried to overtake another vehicle just after passing through Lizulu Trading Centre.

“Unfortunately, the lorry slammed into an oncoming Toyota Ceres registration number SA 4331 which had six people on board, killing five of them on the spot while the sixth, a seven-year old boy died at Ntcheu District Hospital upon arrival,” explained Matewere.

He said the driver of the lorry, Alexander Kaunda, fled the scene after the accident and is still at large.

Matewere said once apprehended, Kaunda will answer a charge of reckless driving which is contrary to Section 126 of the Road Traffic Act.

The car that UDF officials weretravelling  in:  Fatality
The car that UDF officials weretravelling in: Fatality

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