United Democratic Front (UDF) which is preparing to hold the party’s national convention ahead of next year’s tripartite elections has announced that party will be split into three to give autonomy to women and youth governing wings to enhance their potential and participation.
Leader of UDF, Atupele Austin Muluzi (AAM), has been touting a “new beginning” and wants the leadership of the youth and women not only be highlighted in the national executive committee (NEC) as directors, but have its own structures modelled like African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa.
UDF spokesman Ken Ndanga told Nyasa Times that the convention slated for August 1 2018 at Comesa Hall in Blantyre will elect members of the NEC and that youth and women wings will have their own conventions.
“This is part of the new beginning that UDF president Atupele Muluzi has been talking about. We want to increase participation of women and youth in the UDF politics especially at decision making level,” said Ndanga, a former journalist who has risen in the ranks of the party have joined it as a youth member.
He, however, said the youth and women can also directly aspire for posts in the main body from presidency to all.
Ndanga said the youth and women roles will be clearly defined.
Chancellor College-based political analyst Ernest Thindwa has said the idea by UDF “sounds romantic”.
He said in quotes reported by The Nation: “It will give more freedom and latitude to the wings.”
UDF, who formed the first post-independence multiparty government in 1994, will be the first party in Malawi to create autonomous wings for youth and women.
University of Malawi’s Chancellor College political analyst Mustafa Hussein has since welcomed the development in UDF, saying the convention will also provide an opportunity to clarify its status in the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
“People have great expectation of UDF because it is a mother party. It needs to clarify whether the party will stand on its own or will have an alliance with the ruling DPP [Democratic Progressive Party],” he said.
Atupele, who heads the UDF, is Minister of Health in the DPP-led government.
Meanwhile, the UDF convention committee has said all is set for the convention and that aspirants have started collecting nomination forms.
The committee is chaired by Charles Kachikuwo and deputised by Mangochi South legislator, Lilian Patel.
Other members of the committee are Carton Sichinga, Clement Chiwaya, who is also Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Lance Mbewe, Godfrey Chapola and Clement Stambuli.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :