The opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) says it has budgeted MK35 million for its forthcoming convention slated for October 30 at Comesa Hall in Malawi commercial capital Blantyre.
The party’s secretary-general Kennedy Makwangwala says preparations for the convections are now at an advanced stage saying candidates are picking up the nomination papers which he says are going at MK10, 000 each for each post.
“We are planning to hold the NEC meeting once we are ready with nomination forms,” said Makwangwala.
He said the party will have a leadership contest for the leadership (National Chairman) which is expected to draw the candidature of Atupele Muluzi, son to the former ruling party’s president Bakili Muluzi (who is serving as Minister of Economic Planning and Development) and former ministers Moses Dossi and Dr George Nga Mtafu.
However members of the renegade UDF faction led by former economic minister Friday Jumbe are boycotting the convention.
Jumbe told state run MBC radio’s Malawi Panorama morning program that plans by the party’s secretariat to hold elective conference is a political ploy aimed at catapulting Atupele Muluzi to the helm of the party.
According to Makwangwala about 2,500 delegates are expected to attend the convention.
The young Muluzi once famous for his ‘agenda for change’ slogan during the reign of former president Bingu wa Mutharika was among opposition candidates destined to defeated Mutharika’s younger brother Peter during the 2014 elections.
But the hopes were torpedoed after President Joyce Banda appointed him as cabinet minister soon after she took office after the death of Mutharika.
UDF ruled Malawi from 1994 to 2004 under Muluzi and from 2004 to early 2005 with Bingu wa Mutharika, who was handpicked by Muluzi and ditched the party to form the DPP.