Former leader of United Democratic Front (UDF) in Parliament, Lucius Banda has claimed the leadership of the UDF has been swallowed up by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Banda has justified his move to not to follow other UDF lawmakers who have relocated to government benches.
“I know that as a party we took a stand to support government because our leader (Atupele Muluzi) was appointed minister, but I feel we still needed to remain on the opposition side for the benefit of our party.
“We have been reduced to mere spectators and it pains me to see that UDF can no longer respond to the President Peter Mutharika’s State of the Nation address,” said Banda in an interview published in the Weekend Nation.
Banda dismissed talk that he is bitter because he has not been considered for a ministerial post.
“ I am not interested in a ministerial position. Remember, I am a musician and my legislative work even takes much of my time already. As a musician, I lose out on business I am supposed to do every weekend and I wouldn’t really love to go that far because my musical career would die.
“Mind you, I don’t do music on part-time; I am a full time musician with a history and I can’t quit music even if I was given billions of dollars. My point is that I could support anything, but the move to completely be shut out is what I can’t stomach. I am also convinced that the villagers now know what’s happening after seeing that the UDF didn’t respond to President Mutharika’s address,” said Banda.
Known as ‘Soldier of the Poor’, Banda maintained what he told Nyasa Times that he is not rebelling.
But he said: “My campaign logo was yellow and I wouldn’t want my people to go to bed with yellow and wake up with DPP’s blue.”
A lead story in Malawi News of Saturday reports that UDF members have been holding secret meetings in Lilongwe to topple their president claiming they are tired with his leadership style.
According to the paper, the members are re bitter that Muluzi, son to former president Bakili Muluzi, was making crucial decisions concerning the party without consulting the National Executive Committee (Nec).
UDF former vice president (Centre), Iqbal Omar, who resigned distance himself from the plot.
Political analyst, Blessings Chinsinga, has described the developments in the UDF party as ‘not surprising’.
“This is not surprising. Our political parties are not democratic. They are owned by individuals. From the onset, it was clear that by joining cabinet, Atupele was serving his own interest. It’s clear that the decision was not made by Nec, that is why there is no unity of direction, no unity of purpose. This is just a script replaying itself,” Chinsinga said.
Muluzi said UDF will hold a news conference.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :