Around 3,000 delegates from Malawi’s former ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) have gathered in Blantyre for a two-day key national elective conference to decide the route map of the party ahead of next year’s tripartite polls.
The indaba which is slated for Wednesday August 1 up to 2 at the Comesa Hall will be held under the theme” A new begging”.
Party leader Atupele Austin (AA) Muluzi is set to go unopposed as Balaka North legislator Lucius Banda who was the only member of the party who expressed interest to contest against Muluzi has withdrawn and has since joined the United Transformation Movement (UTM) of State vice-president Saulos Chilima.
Muluzi, who is also Minister of Health and Population in the President Peter Mutharika Cabinet, is set to provide direction on whether the UDF will contest the elections with a presidential candidate or he will enter into an electoral alliance.
He is set to define his political journey with a ‘new beginning’ agenda.
UDF secretary general Kandi Padambo said a new National Executive Committee (NEC) is expected to be elected by delegates to the convention who according to the UDF constitution include all NEC members, party executive members, regional committee members and UDF members of Parliament (MPs).
However, according to Padambo, only top 16 positions will be elected at the convention as some will be elected in UDF’s various political regions.
He explained: “The positions to be contested for including that of the President, deputy president, secretary general, deputy secretary general, treasure general, deputy treasurer general, national organising secretary, deputy national organising secretary, publicity secretary, deputy publicity secretary as well as national campaign director and deputy national campaign director.”
According to chairperson of the organising committee for the convention Charles Chikuwo, due to other logistical challenges the convention which was pegged at the tune of K75 million is expected to attract fewer delegates from the previous ones.
Some of the notable gurus who shown interest to contest at the party’s indaba are former cabinet minister Clement Stambuli who is vying for the position of first vice president, former Malawi Electoral Commission(MEC) Commissioner Dr Wellington Nakanga is contesting for the position of the party’s deputy treasure general.
UDF has since created autonomous youth and women wing which according to the party officials will help to create a platform for more participation of the youth and women in the party.
During the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) conventions in May and July this year respectively, incumbent leaders Lazarus Chakwera and Peter Mutharika were re-elected unopposed.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :