United Democratic Front (UDF) president Atupele Austin (AA) Muluzi has vowed not pull out of the country’s presidential race on May 21 2019 refuting social media speculations that he has withdrawn from the elections race.
There has been propaganda that the youthful Atupele has withdrawn from the race because the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has offered the UDF K5 billion in order to endorse their presidential ticket.
Atupele, who picked Karonga Central legislator Frank Mwenifumbo as his running mate, dismissed the reports as fake news.
“My beloved Malawians, we have not accepted any payment nor bribe from the DPP to withdraw from the election. Bribery does not have a domain in UDF and I myself personally, that’s why I have served in sundry ministerial positions of the incumbent government,” said AA Muluzi in a statement seen by Nyasa Times on Tuesday.
AA Muluzi presented his presidential nomination papers on his UDF ticket while still serving as Minister of Health in the Peter Mutharika administration.
Atupele said UDF will contest the tripartite elections at all levels; presidential, parliamentary and local government.
“This whole claim is a mere political propaganda coined by the failed political elements who are dreading the raging UDF fire ahead of the May elections,” said AA Muluzi.
The 40-year-old politician said he finds the “whole fabrication laughable and surprising.”
He stated: “ UDF is a very big institution and entity on this country’s political arena, and my presentation of presidential nomination papers only communicates volumes about the party’s intent to compete and not just participate in the May elections. We are priceless, too good and big a party to be bought by money of any amount and withdrawing from the race cannot just be an act of greed but also a display of betrayal to our beloved Malawians of brimming proportions.”
AA Muluzi said UDF is a party that is built on strong foundations of serving this country’s citizenry with profound love and tranquillity “and it remains our relentless zeal to jealously safeguard these pillars.”
He said: “Our wish is to serve Malawians from the many challenges facing them, and this can only be achieved if we assume the country’s driving seat.”
DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi described the move by Muluzi to contests as an exercise of his political and constitutional rights.
But Ernest Thindwa, a political analyst based at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, expressed skepticism on Muluzi’s commitment to the presidential bid when he is in the Cabinet of a President he is seeking to unseat.
Atupele was drafted into Mutharika’s Cabinet in 2014 and has served in several portifolios. His UDF entered into a parliamentary working relationship with DPP and in the run-up to the presentation of presidential election nomination papers, it was widely speculated that he would be Mutharika’s running mate.
The UDF has several times dismissed that it was not in an electoral alliance with DPP.
Prior to the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections Muluzi resigned from the Cabinet of then president Joyce Banda.
UDF spokesperson Ken Ndanga insisted the party would contest in the electionsFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :