I’m not related to Atupele –Chapola

Experienced agriculturist Dr Godfrey Chapola who on Saturday was picked as United Democratic Front (UDF) youthful Presidential candidate Atupele Mucus’s running mate in this year’s May 20, tripartite elections has dismissed rumour mongering on the alleged family relations between himself and Atupele.

UDF competitors in the elections in a panic attack mode after Chapola’s was announced as running mate spread rumours to smear his name that he was appointed on account of his relations with Atupele.

But both Chapola and Atupele denied any relationship.

Atupele and Chapola: UDF presidential ticket, no relationship
Atupele and Chapola: UDF presidential ticket, no relationship,

Chapola, who comes from the central region district of Lilongwe, and has worked in the agriculture field his entire professional life described rumours of being a relation to Atupele as untruth.

He was suspected to be a relation to Atupele through his mother who also comes from Lilongwe.

But a cross check to the Chapola relations and Masula village where Atupele’s mother comes from, indicated there were no family ties.

Atupele, who made the announcement during a news conference in Lilongwe of Chapola as a running mate after being endorsed by the party politburo, said that he has picked experience and an agriculturist, which are the missing ingredients that Malawi needs

Chapola, a devout Catholic, worked with the government parastatal Tobacco Control Commission from 1996 to 2009. President Bingu WA Mutharika fired him from that position on March 12 in 2009 after he was being linked to be UDF sympathiser.

He was also General Manager of the then Tobacco Research Institute of Malawi (predecessors to ARET), former General Manager of the Tobacco Control Commission and is now the Managing Director of an NGO Rural Agricultural Market Development Trust, RUMARK, where he has been since October, 2009.

Chapola’s experience in agriculture is his major strength as he now seeks to become Malawi’s Vice President. Malawi remains an agro-based economy, as tobacco remains the major forex earner.

Despite his inexperience in politics, Chapola successfully organized and chaired his party’s Policy Conference which took place on 31 October, 2013.

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