Renowned Malawian musician who is also parliamentarian for Balaka North constituency, Lucius Banda, has declared his interest to contest for the position of Member of Parliament under United Transformation Movement (UTM) ticket ahead of the tripartite elections in 2019.
Speaking in an interview Banda who became parliamentarian for Balaka North under the United Democratic Front (UDF) ticket in 2014 said he is set for the 2019 elections but now under the United Transformation Movement where he argued UDF has lost the support it had from his followers.
“At first my idea was to work with UTM while in UDF just as some members of parliament from the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are doing, I then realized the Idea was not welcomed by UDF thus why I decided to fully join UTM.
‘’People in my constituency as well as chiefs have welcomed the move, and i was surprised to hear that all the members of my constituency committee joined UTM before me and they are in full support of the mighty UTM,’’ added Banda.
“ UDF has lost the support it had in Balaka North, so come UTM Primaries I will contest and if all goes successful 2019 General Elections I will contest under UTM led by Dr. Saulos Chilima,” explained Banda.
Commenting on the development a political analyst George Phiri from University of Livingstonia said he is not surprised to see some of the UDF loyal members like Lucius Banda, Iqbal Omar and Shanil Dzimbiri defecting from the party.
UDF spokesperson Ken Ndanga told Nyasa Times in an interview that they respect Banda’s decision and wish him well in his political journey.
“Its freedom of association and UDF as a liberal party we feel wish him well. UDF will its own candidate in Balaka North,” said Ndanga.
Lucius Banda, Iqbal Omar and Shanil Dzimbiri made their first public appearance in UTM colors during the launch of UTM in Lilongwe, where Banda and Shanil endorsed the party’s president Saulos Chilima as a torch bearer of the party ahead of the 2019 general elections.