Matola ditches UDF for People’s Party

Former leader of UDF in Parliament who is now deputy minister of Environment and Climate Change Management Ibrahim Matola has gone to the ruling People’s Party and is waiting for an opportune time to announce the development.

Senior UDF officials confirmed on Thursday that they are aware of Matola’s move to PP.

“Although he has not yet put it in writing, we know that he has joined PP. Even some top PP officials have told us of the development. He has been spotted putting on orange colours and it is not a surprise that he has thought of moving.

Matola: Now in orange from yellow

“We just ask him to write us officially rather than playing double standards,” said one UDF official.

On Tuesday, Matola who is Mangochi North MP told a news conference in Lilongwe that he is contemplating ditching the United Democratic Front (UDF) as he cannot remain in a party which is continuously fighting.

He was responding to UDF calls that all UDF legislators should move from government bench to opposition in Parliament.

The call also went to Minister of Economic Planning and Development Atupele Muluzi who is also Machinga North East MP.

He too rebuffed UDF on the call saying he is enjoying an excellent working relationship with President Joyce Banda.

Ironically, the party’s president Friday Jumbe who has been a rival to both Matola and Muluzi and the entire camp that the two MPs belong, supported Matola and Muluzi to remain in government to gain experience.

Jumbe described as jealous the people calling on the two UDF ministers to leave government and go back to opposition bench.

UDF convention

But UDF deputy spokesman Ken Ndanga said: “As UDF our focus is now on the convention where the party will review its policies to meet the aspirations of Malawians of today. This country is facing a lot of challenges that require new approach and strategies.”

Ndanga said at the UDF convention, the party will also elect new leadership.

He said there will be leadership contest open to “all those that believe in change, new ways of doing our politics and the principles and values of the UDF party.”

“We encourage a combination of new and old members. We are geared to form a government with a clear vision and not based on try and error,” he said.

UDF governed Malawi from 1994 to 2004 under president Bakili Muluzi and from 2004 to 2005 under Bingu wa Mutharika who later ditched the party to from his DPP.

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