UDF end factional feuding, Jumbe says ‘ moving in one direction’

United Democratic Front( UDF) says it has ended its long drawn  factional feuding  and decided to be a united front once again,  Friday Jumbe, who was leading a renegade faction has revealed.

UDF was divided into two factions when George Nga Ntafu declared himself leader of the party deposing Jumbe, and then led a group  campaigning for Atupele, who is son of former president Bakili Muluzi, to become its presidential candidate.  Atupele is currently Ministry of Economic Planning and Development in President Joyce Banda’s cabinet.

United front

Jumbe speaking in Capital FM’s Daybreak Malawi programme on Tuesday, conceded that the division have proved costly to UDF and that they have decided to work together after realizing that they cannot face and win the polls amidst divisions.

UDF leaders Friday Jumbe and Dr Nga Ntafu: United

“Both of us have agreed what we have doing is not reasonable,” said Jumbe, who was given the mantle to lead the party when former president Bakili Muluzi retired from active politics.

“Our biggest preoccupation is that we unite as a party with one voice and one agenda ,” he added.

“We too realise that on our own we cannot make it,” he said.

“We should put the party in front and not individuals. So we are currently holding discussions to formalize our move, so that we can forge ahead,” the former finance minister said.

“We want to talk and we are talking and moving in one direction,” said Jumbe.

Strength for 2014

Jumbe insisted that UDF remains a “strong party” and that in 2014 elections it may have a big impact.

He said only a party “that will have a proper manifesto that will reflect what the ills of this country are[and ] whose candidature   – president and running mate – is pleasing to the people that will carry the day. “

“We are desirous of building up a party that shall show strength  in 2014,” Jumbe  said.

University of Malawi’s Chancellor College political science lecturer Blessings Chinsinga said the joining of the two factions will help strengthen the party ahead of the 2014 general elections.

“The  development has happened at the right time when all parties are putting their houses in order.”

Chinsinga said politics is dynamic and that the pendulum of popular opinion is likely to swing “chances are there that they could make in 2014.”

He accused former leader Muluzi for the leadership  crisis that had bedevilled the party, saying it originated when he “ did not allow its own constitution to guide succession.”

UDF spokesman Mahamudu Lalli  said the party will make a formal statement on the development.

The party plans a national convention in October.

UDF ruled Malawi from1994 to 2004 under Bakili Muluzi as President. His handpicked successor Bingu wa Mutharika won the Presidency under UDF ticket but later dumped the party to form  his DPP in 2006.

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