United Democratic Front (UDF) president Atupele Muluzi has reacted to widespread speculations that his party’s is entering into electoral relationship with the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ahead of the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Muluzi, who is Minister of Health and Population Services in President Peter Mutharika’s Cabinet, said after he addressed a rally in Lilongwe’s Area 25 on Sunday.
There has been fevered speculation that the young Muluzi is earmarked to be Mutharika’s running mate.
But Muluzi said an electoral alliance was a process; hence, there were certain stages to take into account before a resolution is made on whether to contest the elections individually or go into partnership.
“We have not arrived at a stage where we can tell people about the possible alliance. I am not aware of such discussions,” said Muluzi,
He said he would contest as presidential candidate again after failing on his first attempt in 2014 when he finished a distant fourth.
“What I know is that I was elected as the leader for the UDF party,” he said.
Muluzi said if there would be any discussions about possible alliance it will be announced.
He said the focus for him ahead to 2019 elections is to strengthening the party on the ground in a political ‘new beginning’.
“We need a fresh start, this is time to build the UDF,” he said. “I remain upbeat.”
In his speech at the rally, Muluzi warned voters not to be excited by what he called promises and lies peddled by party candidates as the country draws close to the 2019 elections.
” We are now in the campaign mood and please don’t just be excited by promises and lies. You should learn to, ask questions on how the promises will be implemented instead of just clapping hands,” he said.
The UDF leader sent the crowd into stitches when told the that when political leaders tell lies there are cheer leaders who say ” Zoona biggy or mumatiimilira biggy.”
Saying such behaviour is what gives Malawians leaders who don’t mean what they promise.
He said the UDF 2019 manifesto will be built out of a clearly articulated plan which will emphasise on delivery and setting targets.
The young Muluzi also took his time to condemn political violence in the country saying such behaviour has no place in a democratic dispensation.
He said political leaders should desist from hate speeches during public rallies because such speeches could be recipe for political violence.
However, he said those who are involved in political violence have no justification for such barbaric behaviour.
” I as Atupele will never be involved in politics of castigation even when am personally provoked by others. As UDF we believe in issue based politics, ” he said.
Muluzi, whose father Bakili Muluzi ruled the country between 1994 and 2004 as the first post-independence multi-party Head of State, said UDF will remain strong party.
UDF’s strength in Parliament has been dwindling since the 2004 General Elections. From 84 seats in 177-member Parliament in the first post-independence multi-party elections in 1994 to 91 MPs in 1999 when the number of constituencies rose to 193, the party got 49 in 2004, 16 in 2009 and 15 in 2014.