United Democratic Front (UDF) presidential hopeful Atupele Muluzi on Monday conveyed a remarkably upbeat and relaxed impression that he is contesting the May 21 Tripartite Elections with a master strategy to win and built on two pillars of delivering inclusive growth and governance.
Speaking during a campaign rally he held at Lunzu in Blantyre, Atupele accompanied by his wife Angela, said the presidential race will be decided in the next 30 days.
Atupele said UDF voters should not be misled with new propaganda that he will not stand in the presidential race.
“There is new propaganda that Atupele will not stand. Atupele will drop out of the race, Atupele cannot win. Who told you that? Have the elections already happened?
“No one should deceive you that the elections have already been decided,” he said.
Atupele, 40-years-old, said former Zambian president late Michael ‘Cobra’ Sata once advised him that an election is decided in the last three weeks.
“Anything can happen in these elections. The UDF votes have not shifted and we will make more gains,” he said.
Atupele said he has been engaging the electorate and has a strategy to reconnect with the voters in the coming days to vote for UDF.
“We all have a choice to make – if that choice is based on tired thinking then do not expect to see the change we so desperately need to ever happen,” said the UDF presidential hopeful.
“We need new energy to take over the governance of Malawi,” said the youthful presidential candidate.
“I have been a passenger. Now is the time for me to take over the driving seat,” he said.
Atupele said the UDF manifesto which he recently launched is the party’s pledge to all Malawians on the sort of leadership and transformation they will deliver going forward and deliver extremely well.
He said UDF would focus on areas that would bring inclusive growth through stabilisation of the economy and promotion of sustainable agriculture.
On inclusive growth, UDF plans to stabilise the economy, promote sustainable agriculture, improve infrastructure of transport, energy and water among others.
On agriculture, while the current policy advocates for a targeted subsidy, UDF says if voted into power it would evolve the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) into a social protection initiative that improves yields for the very poorest farmers to better deliver food security.
The UDF manifesto has also promised to abolish the quota system and work to increase capacity in tertiary institutions instead.
Muluzi also stressed that the way to root out corruption was to address it at the source, public sector, through reforms that would address loopholes that enable theft and fraud in the government.
On health, UDF has plans to construct district hospitals in the regions which would act as mini referral hospitals.
“First priority would be constructing district hospitals in the cities of Mzuzu and Blantyre which do not have any. The UDF government would make universal health care a reality and ensure that only those who cannot afford to pay for services do so,” he said.
Atupele said to drive change, transformation and deliver results, UDF will “ruthlessly” focus on the ‘How’ aspect.
“This is where all the important tenets of leadership -transparency, accountability, responsiveness, inclusion – come to the fore.
“We will only be able to deliver the change and transformation we want if all Malawian voices are heard and listened to. Inclusion is at the heart of any real and sustainable development,” he said.
He said vote for UDF with Atupele as president and Frank Tumpale Mwenifumbo as running mate is a vote for a new way, a vote for a new beginning.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :