UDF deplores PP’s public tongue-lashing on Atupele Muluzi

Malawi’s former ruling party United Democratic Front (UDF) officials are expressing deep concern over the conduct of some cabinet ministers and officials of the governing People’s Party (PP) who tends to castigate the UDF’s chairperson Atupele Muluzi during government and party functions presided over by President Joyce Banda.

The party’s publicity secretary Ken Ndanga says in a media statement seen by Nyasa Times  that in the recent times including during the ground breaking  ceremony of the railway line project in the southern district of Neno, cabinet ministers took turns in castigating young Muluzi ‘s ambitions to challenge Banda for the presidency in 2014.

“In our observation it appears there is a deliberate campaign by some cabinet ministers and PP officials to issue verbal attacks on the UDF leadership for reasons the party is failing to comprehend,” Ndanga says, adding: “The UDF party would like to condemn this type of politics in its strongest terms and urges all well meaning Malawians and the world at large to join us in doing the same.”

Austin Atupele Muluzi: UDF presidential candidate 2014

Ndanga says UDF believes that at a time that the country is facing a myriad of social and economic problems, government and ruling party officials ought to be working tirelessly in trying to bail poor Malawians from the harsh conditions they are facing.

He further says that UDF believes that government and party officials should use such platforms to articulate their vision for the country and how they intend to solve the problems facing the Malawi nation.

“At a critical period like this any caring and responsible government would not reduce government functions to petty politicking. The UDF party believes that politics of castigation, name calling, ethnicity and regionalism has no space in the Malawi we all seek to build,” he says.

Ndanga believes that this is why the UDF party through the leadership of Atupele Muluzi is calling for change in the manner the country has been doing politics since independence.

“It is primitive thinking and ignorance of the highest order to insinuate or suggest that Atupele Muluzi MP cannot run for presidency on account that he is son to the former president.”

He says by accepting to contest for presidency Muluzi which is a parliamentarian has not flouted any law and must be allowed to exercise his constitutional rights.

“On whether he is the right person or not to lead Malawi is a matter that will be decided by the electorate through the ballot in 2014.”

However, UDF party said it will never abdicate its responsibility as a party in opposition in providing alternative policies which can make Malawi a better country.

The statement finished with a call “to those in power to appreciate that Malawi is a multiparty democracy where citizens have the right to form or associate with political parties of their choice. Therefore those that choose not to belong to the governing parties should not be perceived as enemies of the state.”

Atupele was Economic Planning and Development Minister in Banda’s ‘inclusive’ government until last month when he resigned citing issues of principle.

Banda, who came to power with her Peoples Party (PP) following the death in April of President Bingu wa Mutharika, brought politicians from other political parties into her cabinet.

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