Patrick Mbewe resurfaces at UDF NEC: Convention fever hits party

Prominent businessman and one of the founders of the opposition  United Democratic Front (UDF), Patrick Mbewe, on Tuesday attended the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting to encourage the members on  UDF plans to hold a convention Tuesday next week (October 30).

Mbewe was spotted at UDF secretariat in Blantyre where the NEC meeting was being held.

UDF secretary general Kennedy Makwangwala while confirming Mbewe attended the NEC meeting declined to divulge what transpired in the meeting.

“We are addressing a press conference on Wednesday in the morning at the UDF headquarters,” said Makwangwala.

Makwangwala: UDF held its last NEC meeting before convention

He however said Mbewe is entitled to attend UDF NEC meeting as one of the Patrons of the party. The other patron is former president Bakili Muluzi while Kaphwiti Banda who was their patron also, died.

Sources who attended the UDF NEC meeting confided to Nyasa Times that Mbewe addressed the party gathering and “encouraged the party for its move to hold the convention and welcome new talent.”

The UDF NEC also “scrutinized” names of people who have submitted nomination papers to contest for leadership positions.

UDF national conference has attracted news faces for leadership posts such as former Governor of Reserve Bank of Malawi, Victor Mbewe;  former General Manager of the statutory Tobacco Control Commission’s (TCC)  Dr Godfrey Chapola and former head of the Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi, Kandi Padambo.

Top favourite to win the National Chairman post, is Atupele Muluzi, son of former president and current Minister of Economic Planning and Development.

Also contesting for leadership is former sports minister Mosses Dossi.

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.

Muluzi who is recuperating in South Africa after undergoing a major surgery told Zodiak Radio on Tuesday that the national conference is “where owners of the party will gather to and decide who their leaders should be.”

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