United Democratic Front (UDF) President, Atupele Muluzi is on a countrywide tour to strengthen party structures at grassroots level, starting with Nkhotakota District on Thursday.
In an interview from Nkhotakota, Muluzi said he and others party leaders, will be meeting local leaderships with the overall objective of engaging party representatives at district and constituency committee levels.
He said this exercise has been arranged following calls from the leaders at grassroots level, who have been requesting for a meeting with their President to interact with him and map the way forward.
“We need to address most critical issue affecting our party as one way of moving forward,” he said. “The meetings are also to encourage the local leadership to re-energize party structures which might have been weak to make sure the ground is intact.
“My pledge will be for them to continue supporting the local grassroots structures.”
Muluzi, whose party was in alliance with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for the 2020 fresh presidential election as running mate to former Head of State, Peter Mutharika, also asked the leaders that, if it’s possible, they must lobby for business people and other influential leaders to join the party at grassroots.
He took cognizance that there are many influential individuals who have expressed interest to be members of the party, but they sometimes backtrack when they see their efforts are not being appreciated.
“For us to be stronger, we have to work hard. We need to recognise people’s contributions towards making the party stronger again,” he said.
“These are hard times, but we have to work harder so that come 2025 we should be back in government and it starts now.”
He said the engagements of this nature will continue and they also need to deliver.
In a separate interview, the party’s youth wing president, Yusuf Sambo said Muluzi is also addressing concerns made as regards to party regalia and its distribution methodology, saying he will strive to ensure such materials are available.
“But the leaders also need to prove that they are set to seriously work on the ground mobilizing more support for the party.
“Our leadership should take note that we are a party in opposition but despite that, if the structures will be intact, then it will mean using the same party structures in distributing the materials.
“These party regalia are very important for visibility and ensure that we are stronger at grassroots level. The youths are all set to make this work,” Sambo said.
In September last year, the UDF’s National Executive Committee (NEC) held an extraordinary meeting to discuss a range of issues regarding the critical work of the party, particularly with regards to its performance during the 2020 fresh presidential elections.
It also discussed ongoing efforts that are underway to rebuild into a stronger political entity for the good of the country.
In a press statement from acting National Publicity Secretary, Yusuf Mwawa had said the NEC unanimously resolved — amongst other issues — that all UDF structures including the NEC members should seek a fresh mandate after the finalization of the party’s strategic plan.
He also had said that a committee had been appointed to develop its strategic plan to look into the road map and plan for the Extraordinary National Conference.
The UDF is on the move to reconnect with the electorate and give a fresh distinctive vision for the future of Malawi with policies that resonate with the people.
The alliance with the DPP was just for the June 23, 2020 fresh presidential election— since as an autonomous organization — the UDF “can enter into alliances depending on the political need”.
In 2004, the UDF entered into an alliance with the Alliance For Democracy (AFORD) and in 2009 the UDF entered into electoral alliance with the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and others.
The UDF and DPP are both in the opposition in the august House, in which it has 10 MPs — Ismael Mkumba (Ndirande Malabada Constituency); Rodrick Khumbanyiwa (Chikwawa East; Nedson Poya (Zomba Ntonya); Kapichira Mussa (Mangochi Malombe); Aishah Mambo (Mangochi Nkungulu); Lilian Patel (Mangochi South); Idi Carlos (Mangochi North East but will be rerun); Grant Ndecha (Machinga South); Esther Jolobala (Machinga East) and Ibrahim Yahard Msadala (Nkhotakota South East).
The UDF, which is now close to 30 years old has one of its founders and former president Dr. Bakili Muluzi as its patron, who does not have a specific role in the affairs of the party but is highly respected “as an elder statesman and many Malawians continue to seek his counsel and advice” as said by Mwawa last September.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :