Atupele warns against tribal politics: ‘We are one Malawi, one nation’

Malawi opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) President Atupele Muluzi on Saturday during whistle-stop meeting in the central region, condemned politicians he did not name, who are said to be promoting politics of tribalism, saying forming tribal groups for political gains has the potential to divide the country.

The UDF 2014 torchbearer said this when he visited Lilongwe and Dedza districts with whistle stop rallies at Nkhoma Mission, Tsoyo primary school and Mayani trading Center respectively.

He told a mammoth gathering at all these venues that as UDF party leader he was saddened to learn that some prominent politicians are busy organizing tribal groupings for personal political interests.

Atupele advised that such leaders should not be given a chance to lead the country.

Atupele addressing supporters at Mayani in Dedza on Saturday
Atupele addressing supporters at Mayani in Dedza on Saturday

“This country has been through enough already, it cannot develop if we have leaders that promote tribalism. We need unity in this country. It shouldn’t matter where one comes from and no Malawian should be denied his or her opportunity on account of where they come from,” said Atupele, much to the jubilation of supporters who converged at all the venues.

“Tribal politics does nothing positive for the nation except to create too many fault lines among us that weaken us as a country,” he said, adding “Each ethnic group has something to contribute to the development of the nation.”

The UDF presidential hopeful pointed out that those who seek public office “must sell themselves to the people of Malawi as Malawian and not as members of this or that tribe.”

He said: “Malawians must elect people who are known for their honesty, ability, dedication and concern for the welfare of all. Politicians should therefore be evaluated on their capacity to implement both their party’s manifesto and their personal vision.

“As we near the 50th anniversary of our independence and nationhood, it is intolerable and unacceptable that the cancer of tribalism is still eating away the brains or minds of some of our politicians.”

Atupele said Malawians should never allow the country to play host to tribalism in any way, in any form.

“Tribal politics must be consciously combated and not discreetly tolerated,” he said.

Atupele also told supporters that the next UDF government has put Agriculture as one of its priorities because it believes that is one sector that has potential to grow the economy.

He said for example, that much as the UDF party supports the subsidy programme, its implementation leaves a lot to be desired as many beneficiaries have not benefitted as it is supposed to be. He said that the subsidy programme is riddled with corruption and it has turned out to benefit the rich as opposed to the poor.

Atupele told the gathering that in order to support the agriculture industry; the next UDF government will make sure that it improves the rural road network that connects the farmers to market for their products.

He said that at the moment buyers are exploiting farmers by offering miserably low prices for their produce because farmers themselves cannot access better markets due to poor road infrastructure.

Atupele on a whistle-stop meetings in the central region
Atupele on a whistle-stop meetings in the central region
Supporters at Nkhoma mission in Lilongwe who attended the UDF rally
Supporters at Nkhoma mission in Lilongwe who attended the UDF rally
Crowds wave at Atupele in Dedza
Crowds wave at Atupele in Dedza

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