United Democrtaic Front (UDF) has rubbished as “fake news” that Atupele Austin (AA) Muluzi may not necessarily stand as a candidate for State President on his party’s ticket in the forthcoming Tripartite Elections slated for May 21 this year despite collecting nomination papers from the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).
There has been fevered speculation on social media platforms indicating that Atupele is going to pair with President Peter Mutharika in the presidential race as his runningmate.
An audio clip has also been circulating of a telephone conversation between former president Bakili Muluzi with an aspiring UDF candidate from Nkhotakota in which the senior Muluzi is heard advising the caller to work hard because Atupele has been informed of the aspiring MP’s candidature. This in the propanganda has been tweaked to indicate Atupele has been informed is a runningmate.
UDF spokesman Ken Ndanga said former president Muluzi did not say anything about the issues of UDF president Atupele Muluzi being appointed runningmate to anybody in any telephone conversation.
“In recorded telephone conversation which has gone viral, he simply says ‘Atupele has been informed’ about a potential UDF candidate in Zomba which is normal,” said Ndanga.
He added: “This was a normal telephone conversation which was simply encouraging a potential UDF candidate to stand on a UDF ticket.”
Said Ndanga: “In the conversation the retired president is not even making any decision and it’s very clear that the process of identifying candidates is, being handled by Honourable Clement Stambuli who is the Director of Elections in the UDF party.
“Any information to the contrary is utterly fake news and must be treated with the contempt it deserves.”
The telephone conversation also involves a talk about Zomba Central constituency aspirant Yunus Mussa who has just lost primary elections in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Bakili spites Mussa saying he approached him after losing primary elections asking if it was possible for him to represent UDF in the same constituency.
“Not Yunus Mussa no. He is not stable. Remember the way he left UDF and followed Bingu, I cannot allow him to be our candidate” Muluzi says.
Between February 4-8 Malawians will know who will actually stand as a presidential candidate after submitting nomination papers-and being approved by the electoral body.
Commentators say Atupele could be a king maker and might as well be a spoil sport for DPP if the ruling party does not get him on board in some capacity, especially the running mate spot to President Mutharika.
Atupele-who is currently Health Minister in the Mutharika administration- argued that he accepted to serve the DPP-led government to serve Malawians as he discovered a lot of synergies between DPP and UDF.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :