Change must start in political parties -Atupele

Presidential hopeful Atupele Muluzi, son of former president Bakili Muluzi, says he would like to purse his national agenda for change but highlighted that Malawi political parties must change the way politics is being practised to embrace the essence of democracy in its full meaning.

“Those of us holding positions, whether in the area, branch, district and region, National Executive Committee needs to start listening and responding to the wishes of the people we are representing,” said the lawmaker when he addressed a historical rally in Kasungu on Saturday.

“If we do not change and start listening to the true owners of the party the people, then there is nothing that we can do to bring about change in the country,” said Atupele.

Atupele: Addressing mammoth crowd in Kasungu on his agenda for change

The young-conviction politician remains suspended in former ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) after the party old guards were irked when he announced that he will be available for selection as presidential candidate.

Atupele said political parties must realise that “true owners of our parties are in the villages.”

He said: “They also need to be guaranteed the power to choose leaders of their choice and in a fair, open and transparent manner. That is what democracy is all about.

He urged UDF faithful not to allow “one person or a small group to destroy this party. A party that you have sacrificed and devoted yourselves for.”

Said Atupele: “ Women need to be given the opportunity to run our party.

“The elders who helped start this party have an important role to continue advising us because they remember and understand where we are coming from.”

He added: “We also understand how the world is changing and how the older generation needs to work with the younger generation. We need new ideas and this is the time to open up to new ideas.

“ We can do that by opening up to the youth by allowing them to also positively contribute to the development of the country.”

He stressed: “Everyone needs to contribute.”

Opportunities

Atupele said his  change agenda is geared at increasing opportunities for all, saying he was dismayed  with the rising jobless rate  in Malawi, especially young school leavers.

“ We need to change this. We need to create 300,000 or more jobs in the next five years and it is possible,” said Atupele.

“Our women in our society are also suffering. Raising our children but finding it difficult to find money to look after them,” he noted.

“Women need to be given all the opportunities for advancement. In  getting a decent education, decent employment or an opportunity to do business.”

Change

He highlighted his change agenda in his speech, “things need to change. Politics of vengeance needs to change.”

Atupele said: “We should not be paying for the arguments that some may have had many years before I was even born. That is not our fight.

“People failing to go to a wedding because their friends belong to another political party. Failing to shake hands after bumping to an old friend because you belong to another political party because it would be misunderstood. Even funerals. This is not good politics and must change,” he said.

Atupele further said: “In order to bring about change in the country us politicians must change. In order to change how we govern we must change how we run our political parties. “

He disclosed that he will sonn embark on a nationwide  “listening campaign” tour to get views  of Malawians on what they want their ext government to do in 2014.

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