Some United Democratic Front (UDF) senior members who had been advancing suggestions that son to former Head of State Bakili Muluzi, Atupele may not have succeeded in his university studies in the United Kingdom had a rude awakening on Friday when it was reported otherwise.
Malawi’s broadsheet, Sky News, reported that the University of Leicester, which Atupele attended between 1997 and 2000, had confirmed that the young Muluzi is its Economics and Law graduate.
The University also confirmed that Atupele will be 36 years in 2014, effectively qualifying him as a presidential candidate. The Republican Constitution prescribes 35 years and above as the required age to become President of the Republic.
The senior members have been arguing that Atupele would be underage in 2014 and that therefore his presidential ambitions are counter-productive.
In its Friday edition, the ruling DPP mouthpiece Sky News quotes Registrar and Secretary of Leicester University, David Hill as confirming that Atupele graduated from the tertiary school on July 14, 2000 having studied for a BA Economics and Law degree.
However, Nyasa Times verified that he graduated with ‘Second Class Hoonours (Lower Division).
The university records, according to Hall, also indicate that Atupele was born on August 6, 1978.
According to the broadsheet, they made the enquiry to the University following doubts expressed by some quarters in the UDF that Atupele had failed in his university studies.
Atupele’s detractors in the UDF have also been claiming that he would not be qualified to contest in the 2014 national presidential elections because he would be under the age of 35.
“Our records show that Mr. Austin Atupele Muluzi was registered here from 29th September 1997 to 23rd June 2000 on the BA Economics and Law degree,” the paper quotes Hall, who adds that Atupele passed his final year.
On September 29, 2011, Atupele announced at a public discussion at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre that he had put up his name for the UDF nomination for the 2014 candidature.
“Many Malawians have asked me not only to be part of the ‘Change Agenda’ but lead it. It is for this reason that today, I humbly accept your call to put my name for nomination as presidential aspirant in 2014 general elections,” announced Atupele.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :