United Democratic Front (UDF) president Atupele Muluzi is facing pressure from some district committee members to convene an extraordinary national conference with reports that the party vice-president for the South, Lance Mbewe is canvassing to be its next leader to move UDF forward and cut its partnership with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
In a letter dated August 31, addressed to Muluzi and copied to secretary general Kandi Padambo, the members say the conference must be called in line with Article 10 of the UDF constitution to address several issues.
In the letter, the members claim that the party is in a sorry state with all structures at grassroots level in disarray, non-functional or non-existent.
Both Muluzi and Padambo acknowledged having received the letter, which was signed by, among others, district committee chairpersons, secretaries, treasurers and youth committee chairpersons, mostly from Rumphi District.
Reads in part the letter: “Certain decisions taken by NEC [national executive committee] in recent times, such as the working relationship with the DPP [Democratic Progressive Party], was never fully supported by a majority of our membership. It has made us lose confidence in this NEC and the leadership.”
The members have since given Muluzi 14 days to respond or face unspecified action.
The concerned members further state that since 2013, the members only met occasionally to plan the affairs of the party.
Muluzi said UDF is consulting widely and “will hold a convention in the near future.”
Meanwhile, UDF members have indicated that Lance Mbewe is seeking support among party members to run for the presidential seat during the conference and move to rebuild UDF.