Atupele ‘talk of voters’ after Malawi presidential debate: Condemns MCP party of bitterness, UTM of frustration

Youthful presidential hopeful Atupele Muluzi of United Democratic Front (UDF) has been talk of the voters dominating social media and public talks after  his no holds barred show during the first 2019 presidential debate ahead of the May 21 Tripartite Elections.

Chilima rebuked Atupele saying failing to read your political opponents’ manifesto in full smacks lack of seriousness
Atupele Muluzi: Running government is serious business and needs experience

Atupele was in the panel together with  Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM’s Saulos Chilima in the first of the three-series debates held  in the main auditorium of Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe.

The UDF presidential candidate, who is President Peter Mutharika’s Minister of Health, relentlessly attacked Chakwera and Chilima for what he thought were faulty policies.

He positioned himself as a leader willing to cooperate with any government for “the general good of Malawians”, while condemning MCP as a party of bitterness and UTM as a party of frustration.

Governance expert and commentator Makhumbo Munthali said while the UDF presidential candidate must be commended for stirring up what had started as a boring debate but later gained momentum, he failed to convincingly defend UDF as an independent party with a better plan to rule the country.

“Of course, one could clearly see that the young Muluzi struggling to reconcile the two conflicting political worlds which he belongs to: that of the Presidential candidate of an opposition party and a member of the [Mutharika] government. You don’t have to be a political scientist to see a hidden hand pulling the strings from behind in Atupele’s statements,” Munthali told Nyasa Times.

Atupele accused MCP and UTM for allegedly copying his ‘Agenda for change’ ideas from the 2014 campaign.

UDF is yet to launch its elections manifesto on April 9 at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.

But during the televised debate Atupele sharply critiqued  promises that UTM and MCP have made, on several occasions dismissing the two parties’ manifestos as being long on promises and short on how they would be implemented.

Atupele took Chilima head on the much touted promise to create a million jobs as contradicting UTM’s plan to mechanise agriculture. The UDF candidate suggested mechanisation of agriculture would cut jobs for farmers.

Atupele said running government is “serious business” which required “experience” in State affairs which he said he has so far gained unlike his rivals.

But Chilima snapped: “He (Muluzi) said running government is serious business but failing to read your political opponents’ manifesto in full smacks lack of seriousness.

“One million jobs will be created by many other sectors and mechanisation doesn’t always mean fewer jobs. We have in our manifesto mega farms and other projects.”

Analysing the debate, Munthali told Nyasa Times that while it was so easy for Atupele to criticise the UTM and MCP manifestoes, the UDF leader avoided punching holes in the DPP government policies even in cases where the opportunity allowed him to do so.

“Nevertheless, he was decisive on some of the issues like abolishment of quota system, outlining the current reforms in the health sector under his watch as well as strengthening efficiency in the management of public resources in the education and health sector,” said Munthali.

Atupele said the introduction of quota system of selecting university students had done more harm than good and that UDF will abolish it.

“As UDF, we don’t believe in quota system. Our responsibility will be to ensure that the best and the bright students have fair chance of selection. So we will look for funds to construct more schools to increase students’ admission in schools,” he said.

Munthali also pointed out that Atupele besides the jibes on his rivals; he remained calm throughout the debate “even in cases where he would have been tempted to over react following jeers from part of the audience.”

“However, I think his performance in yesterday’s debate has the potential to rekindle the debate that Atupele may along the way give up his Presidential bid by joining forces with the DPP,” he said.

Atupele insisted UDF was not defending the ruling party in the debate, but championing its own agenda.

When asked by moderator Grace Malera to make closing remarks, Atupele described Chakwera and Chilima as intelligent and “very fine men” and he praised himself for having served in the DPP-led government to serve Malawians.

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Nicholous
Nicholous
3 years ago

Chakwera was very composed on the debate . He is very intelligent and articulate no wonder he won the debate. Malawi need such leaders. The man is also a crowd puller.

Tilly
Tilly
3 years ago

I think all sane Malawians are bitter. A few of you are very happy and comfortable and do not see need for any change.

Nyusesi
3 years ago

Ka chilima nkudzanjenjemera pamenepaja kikikiki. Atupele anabangulatu heve. Munya muwona Inu a MCP ndi nyusesi UTM.

Yasser Arafat Hamdani
Yasser Arafat Hamdani
3 years ago

Arafat Hamdani anakumana ndi saizi take… kkkkkkkkkk

Manyowe
Manyowe
3 years ago

Apart from the answers given, let us assess personalities of these candidates. One would find that Chilima is short tempered and heavy handed. This personality can not be compatible with the present day Malawi. It is unfortunate that sometimes Malawians take long to read these signs of dictatorial elements until they are in trouble with such leaders. It is important to consider aspects of tolerance and willingness to be critisized in these candidates. It is one thing to answer eloquently and another to accept critism. Watch out!

Chilungamo
Chilungamo
3 years ago
Reply to  Manyowe

The most dangerous person in life is the one who hides emotions or tries very hard to conceal. Bakili Muluzi could least imagine Bingu (MHSRIP) would at some point betray his trust. Atupele just like father should not lie he’s still hurting.
Atupele’s demeanor and disposition clearly showed he’s bitter. Zimanja akamayankhula, he was just projecting it at wrong people- Chilima and Chakwera.
Clearly he’s burning with rage

Chete Nkufuna
Chete Nkufuna
3 years ago

Atupele kutumidwa nkukanikanso, he can put on a suit right but last debate he didn’t demonstrate good leadership skills and lack self confidence. Waononga chipani cha atate ake nde nkumati angalamulile Malawi? usakhwi chani? (as said by his dad)
He is a waste of space no wonder APM saw that Chim is much better than him.

Mirella MK
Mirella MK
3 years ago
Reply to  Chete Nkufuna

I suppose you meant to say ‘Usawi’, wch means ufiti. Good day

Truth Pains
3 years ago

I don’t know which school Atupele went?
During debate when it was his turn to respond first , he was struggling to understand the question and find answers for the same eg the question of Climate change .

Chilima talked about replanting trees and using modern method of farming
to avoid soil erosion and Chakwera as well talked about reforestation but Atupele answer was based on every person should own land including women.
Thats why Chilima said Atupele has difficulties in understand other parties manifesto bcoz he lacks know how .

Andu
Andu
3 years ago

Well done Atupele Muluzi for exposing Chilima and Chakwera. You have singlehandedly beaten the hell out of UTM and MCP.

mtete
mtete
3 years ago

This young mab is a sell out.

I will vote for UTM and not crazy UDF
I will vote for UTM and not crazy UDF
3 years ago

I have had respect for Atupele but after following the debate last evening I have felt sorry for myself – I never knew he is such a clueless person claiming to have acquired leadership experience which he can’t demonstrate. UTM has a very clear road map to salvage Malawians from the many plights the country is going through. Atupele could not even share what he has for Malawians – NOT AT ALL.

I wish Dr Saulos Chilima and UTM all the best as they move on articulating their vision for Malawi – a vision to take Malawi to greater heights.

Yusuf
Yusuf
3 years ago

😂😂😂 Simunamumvetsetse bwino Atupere Muluzi

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