UDF reverts to ’09 NEC ahead of Dec 28 meeting

Former ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) says it has dissolved all factions formed in the leadership wrangles ahead of the December 28 National Executive Committee meeting.

UDF secretary general Kennedy Makwangwala said the move is geared at forming a united front for the party as it prepares to hold leadership contest next year.

Makwangala said in a letter obtained by Nyasa Timesthat: “all positions in the party will revert back to July 16, 2009 when then the National Chairman, Dr Bakili Muluzi left for UK and left the running of UDF in the hands of the Secretary General of the party.”

Makwangwala: Factions dissolved

He added: “All party structures that have been formed after 16 July 2009 stand dissolved and that all members of the party who were forcefully removed from the party have been reinstated to their original positions.”

Makwangwala said the National Executive Committee meeting of the party will take place at the UDF National Headquarters in Limbe on 28 December 2011 at 9.00 am.

“The secretarial therefore urges members of the party to abide to this decision in order to ensure smooth administration of the party,” urged the secretary general.

UDF has been rocked in division since Muluzi plagued by ill-health, stepped down as chairman in 2009.

The party announced that it will hold  a national convention in April 2012 which will not elect a presidential candidate, but a new national executive committee.

According to Makwangwala, the UDF’s constitution stipulates that a presidential candidate is elected a year before the elections.

UDF said the new NEC will prepare and organise “an extraordinary conference in 2013 for election of the UDF presidential candidate and running mate.”

The party says it will need more than K20 million ($119 760) for its national convention next year.

Those aspiring for the UDF presidency include interim president Friday Jumbe a former finance minister, leading neurologist Dr George Nga Mtafu, former vice president Dr Cassim Chilumpha, lawyer Fahad Assan, Dr Saizi Bwanali and former sports minister and football commentator Moses Dossi.

In September, MP for Machinga North East Atupele Muluzi, son to former president, expressed interest to contest on UDF ticket as 2014 presidential candidate.

Atupele was suspended after declaring his presidential bid.

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