The youngest presidential candidate in May 21 Tripartite Election, Atupele Austin Muluzi, 40, of United Democratic Front (UDF) has said he is ready to govern and will “lead from the front”, promising to a “new Malawi” to ensure inclusive growth and good governance.
Atupele said this on Friday night during the final round of the 2019 presidential debate in the main auditorium of Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe.
Responding to a moderator Reverend Patrick Semphere’s opening question on what he would do in the first 100 days in office, Atupele said emphatically he will lead from the front to end corruption, be transparent and have a credible and inclusive Cabinet.
“The problem with corruption is that we have been dealing with the symptom and not the cause,” he said.
Atupele said he will form a Cabinet of all talents with “the best of the best” regardless of political memberships and other affiliations.
“UDF is ready to govern, we have understood what people want and we have to deliver inclusive growth,” said Atupele whose performance during the last debate was reflecting his renowned gentle stature.
“I will lead from the front and our focus will be results, results and results,” he said.
Atupele said he wants to build a “new Malawi” for Malawians and for the World which will ensure quality education for children, jobs for unemployed, basic needs for the poor and dealing with the source of corruption as he will guarantee tenets of democracy by ensuring providing accountability.
“The system will be transparent and accountable,” he pledged.
He said UDF will table a financial plan that addresses the needs of Malawians.
Stressing on “results, results, results”, Atupele said he will work to “restore the dignity of the people of Malawi” with good public service delivery.
The UDF president said he will ensure “a feedback mechanism” between the masses and government to ensure even the ultra-poor are taken care of.
Atupele said his leadership will focus on “results, delivery and transparency.”
He said: “We will be at the heart of delivery. Results, results, results.”
The UDF flag bearer also promised youth entrepreneurship and use of technology.
“We will build youth confidence in entrepreneurship based on modern technology,” he said.
“We will establish opportunity centres where we will train the youth with additional skills,” said Atupele.
The youthful presidential hopeful said the UDF manifesto set to be launched on Sunday April 7 at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe is for “harnessing youth talent” from young musicians, artists, sports disciplines and others.
“We need to build a modern economy and think in modern century,” said Atupele stressing on demographic dividend but sticking to “inclusive growth and inclusive governance.”
He hinted that UDF manifesto is focusing on social protection for the poor and that government would spend on right priorities, manage domestic debt and improve the skills of the people.
“We will cushion the poor. We have to protect the poor and the vulnerable in the society,” said Atupele.
Talking about the three budget priority areas, Atupele pointed out that stabilization of economy, reforms and agriculture will be a centre piece of his “inclusive growth and governance.”
On climate change and protecting environment, Atupele stated that financial prudence and good leadership is essential, saying sustainable water sources need to be explored.
In his concluding remarks during the televised debate, Atupele who stressed that he was an embodiment of consensus building politics by accepting to work with his rivals’ governments, said: “I have no enemies, my enemy is poverty. I have shown that I can work with anyone.”
Earlier, Atupele, opened his statement in wishing Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential hopeful Lazarus Chakwera a happy birthday. Chakwera has turned 64.
Apart from Muluzi, Chakwera and UTP party’s Saulos Chilima, Umodzi Party’s John Chisi, Peter Kuwani of Mbakuwaku Movement for Democracy (MMD) and Independent candidate Reverend Hardwick Kaliya were the other candidates who participated in the debate while incumbent President Peter Mutharika of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Tisinthe Alliance candidate Cassim Chilumpha did not participate in the debate.
Governance expert and commentator Makhumbo Munthali who was pundit for Zodiak TV on the debates told Nyasa Times the UDF presidential candidate was the toast of the night.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :