Don’t compare Atupele to Obama, says Mpasu

Former Speaker of Parliament  who is UDF first vice president, Sam Mpasu, says there is no benchmark for followers of presidential aspirant, Atupele Muluzi, to compare him with United States President Barack Obama.

Atupele, former president Bakili Muluzi’s 33-year-old son, is seeking UDF  nomination to stand as presidential candidate in 2014 general elections. But the MP for Machinga North East presidential bid is facing resistance within the rank and file of the party with most of the old guards demanding he should stop ‘campaigning’.

The youthful parliamentarian has been dubbed by his followers  as ‘Malawi’s Obama’.

Mpasu: Atupele has no experience

Not an Obama

But speaking on Capital FM Straight Talk programme on Tuesday evening, Mpasu said there was nothing worthy showing that Atupele can be compared to President Obama.

“He is not Obama. You can’t even compare Atupele to Obama. What is there common between Atupele and Obama,” said Mpasu.

He said Atupele was still a political toddler who cannot become a national leader.

“Look at Atupele, he is 32 years. What gives you confidence or anybody’s confidence that Atupele can run a country of 13 million people? It’s unknown quantity,” the former Speaker said.

“Atupele himself doesn’t know Atupele, do you understand that,” he added.

Mpasu said Atupele has no political experience of running a government, saying: “Has he been vice president of this country so you can say he performed this way, has he been minister, has he been a deputy minister. Has he run any parastatal?

“He has no benchmark to judge him. He has not even run a grocery shop to say this is his performance.

“You have nothing to judge him with. Running a country, being commander-in-chief of armed forces, being in charge of the  police, being in charge of thousands of civil servants and making rational decision, international relations and so forth  is not a piece of cake.”

Mpasu said himself has left “footprints” as he has served in Bakili Muluzi government as minister, Member of Parliament and Speaker.

Muluzi backing

Mpasu accused the former president Muluzi of playing  backroom politics to propel his son to power.

“Bakili is behind the son. I can tell you right now he is behind his son. He is being trying to do a third term, fourth term,” said Mpasu.

“There are lots of things I could say in public but I won’t.”

Atupele has publicly dismissed the assertions that the former president is behind his presidential bid.

“I am my own man. I am very clear about that,” said Atupele, a British trained solicitor.

Mpasu nonetheless lashed out at Muluzi accusing him of applying “divisive” politics, saying the third term presidential bid and the handpicking of Bingu wa Mutharika to succeed him “destroyed UDF”.

Mpasu further said Atupele is not interested with the affairs of UDF, but would want to use the party as a stepping stone to power.

Atupele: Agenda for change

“Atupele is not interested in any political party positions. He is not interested leading the UDF,” he said. “He just wants to reap the benefits of the party, so he says.”

“He just wants to be a presidential candidate of UDF. He just wants UDF to put him in power.”

Mpasu said the party “sat down” other presidential aspirants Dr Cassim Chilumpha, Fahad Assani, Friday Jumbe, Moses Dossi, Dr George Nga Ntafu to stop campaigning and concentrate in “rebuilding the party first.”

He said Atupele “didn’t see the sense” to attend the party’s disciplinary committee.

Mpasu said there is “one UDF” led by Jumbe and secretary general Kennedy Makwangwala.

He described other groups as “mistimed factions.”

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