Zambia’s Sata, Bashir bankroll Atupele for Malawi presidential bid

Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir, wanted for war crimes, is said to have bought two helicopters for Atupele Muluzi, presidential candidate of the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) to use for election campaign, Nyasa Times understands.

Al Bashir is a long-time friend of former Malawi President Bakili Muluzi who happens to be Atupele’s father.

Zambian President Michael Chilufya Sata is another leader who is reported to been helping in financing Atupele’s campaign in the last few months.

Sata is helping because he feels it’s time to pay back for the help he got from Atupele’s father – Bakili Muluzi when he was campaigning against Rupiah Banda.

Bashir was the first head of state to be indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), which accused him of genocide and war crimes in Darfur.

He denies the charges, saying they are politically motivated but he is still wanted by the ICC.

Sata said to be  assisting Atupele
Sata said to be assisting Atupele

“Former President Bakili Muluzi and Al Bashir’s cousin who stays in South Africa have been meeting and been planning how to help Atupele win the election,” said a senior UDF official who asked for anonymity.

Malawi goes to the polls next month in an election many believe is very tight although incumbent President Joyce Band, bruised by the cash-gate scandal, still has an edge over other presidential
candidates because of the rural vote.

But Atupele Muluzi refused to comment when asked on where the helicopters are coming from and how involved Sudanese President and the Zambian President are in his campaign.

“It’s true that we have acquired helicopters to use for the campaign…but it has nothing to do with Al Bashir,” said Atupele.

Malawi President Joyce Banda last year refused to allow Bashir to attend a scheduled African Union summit in July in Malawi’s capital – Lilongwe after her predecessor, Bingu wa Mutharika, had defied calls to apprehend Bashir.

After Bashir visited Malawi in October 2011, the ICC referred the country to the UN Security Council.

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