Muluzi funding UDF convention, claims Jumbe and Mpasu

Friday Jumbe and Sam Mpasu have claimed that former president Bakili Muluzi is bankrolling the forthcoming October 31 convention of United Democratic Front (UDF) to ensure his son, Atupele Muluzi, sail through as presidential candidate.

Jumbe and Mpasu told local radio stations that plans by the former ruling party’s secretariat to hold elective conference as a political ploy aimed at catapulting Atupele Muluzi to the helm of the party.

“We should not beat about the bush. Dr. Muluzi is behind this convention and he is the one funding it. As you know in UDF we don’t even half a bicycle where do you think the K35 million for the convention has come from?” Jumbe said.

Mpasu: Against Atupele candidature

“It is Muluzi who is funding it because he wants his son to go through. Dr. Muluzi is still in politics and we all know what he is up,” added Jumbe whose camp has over the past few months been losing key allies to ruling Peoples Party (PP).

There are reports that Jumbe also led a group of 15 people in his faction to Sanjika Palace where they were introduced to PP executive that they are “part and parcel of the PP.”

Reports indicate they are remaining in UDF as “spoilers”.

Mpasu also claimed Muluzi was financing the UDF convention.

“It is Dr Muluzi who is destroying UDF for his personal interest,” said Mpasu.

“He is collecting money in the name of the UDF, putting it in his personal bank account and using thayt money to promose the political interest of his son.”

“Bakili Muluzi is financining it that is why we are not interested to take part.”

Jumbe and Mpasu have threatened that the will fight tooth and nail to ensure the meeting does not take place.

“Let them move ahead. If we say unspecified, it remains our secret,” said Mpasu.

UDF secretary general Kennedy Makwangwala said a special committee led by former foreign affairs minister Lillian Patel has been tasked to organize the convention including sourcing funds.

Patel deniedaccusations that the former president is pulling strings.

She, however, revealed that the party is at liberty to source funding from Muluzi as he is ‘life member of UDF.’

“First of all it will not be wise to drag Muluzi into the issue, let’s respect him as our founder and also as the former president. Frankly, he is not calling the shots whatsoever. But there is no law stopping us from going to him to seek for financial help if the need arise.

University of Malawi’s political analyst Mustafa Hussein said UDF needs the convention to “ overhaul the party in terms of eladerhsip and personnel.”

He said: “I think its time that a convention was held and that supporters of the party would be given a chance to elect people to various positions.”

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.

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