Pressure on Atupele Muluzi to quit government
Pressure continues to mount on United Democratic Front (UDF) president, Atupele Muluzi, to relinquish his ministerial post in order to concentrate on rebuilding the party in readiness for the forthcoming tripartite elections.
For a long time, some of the party’s supporters, led by Balaka North legislator Lucius Banda, have been asking Muluzi to make his position known in regards to 2019 presidential elections.
However, Muluzi has been elusive until recently when he hinted that UDF would not partner any political party during the forthcoming tripartite elections.
His announcement has, however, come at a time Banda had started meeting UDF supporters to wrestle party leadership from Muluzi.
Reacting to this development, Banda urged Muluzi to consider resigning as minister in the current administration so as to have time to steer the party forward.
Banda said, by resigning, Muluzi will show that he is, indeed, willing to follow up on his words with action, saying it would be hard for people to trust him when he still holds a ministerial post.
“Let me congratulate president Muluzi [Atupele] for coming out boldly that he will contest as a presidential candidate next year. This is what we have been asking him to do all along as supporters of the party. But we expect him to show commitment that he, indeed, means his words,” he said.
He added “We wasted four years while in DPP. [Democratic Progressive Party] It is now time for us to be serious in the remaining year if we are to make progress during the next elections. Of course, I cannot tell him what to do. But, as a supporter, I want my president to be in the forefront on party issues,” Banda said.
Chancellor College-based political analyst, Happy Kayuni, concurred with Banda on the need for Muluzi to step down as minister if he is serious about leading UDF in the next elections.
He said Muluzi’s campaign for the presidency cannot be effective if he still holds the position of minister in the current administration.
“His integrity and effectiveness of the campaign will be compromised because, in the eyes of a voter, Atupele is part of the DPP; so, it will be hard for people to trust him,” he said.
Kayuni said the UDF leader should have clear ideas of how to communicate to followers, and that can only be done if he resigns as minister.
Efforts to talk to Muluzi proved futile as his phone went unanswered on several attempts.