United Democratic Front (UDF) leader, Atupele Muluzi, Monday continued to be vague about his party’s political future in regards to the 2019 Tripartite Elections when he failed to come out clearly on whether he would be UDF’s torchbearer.
Instead, Muluzi blamed the mainstream media and the social media for propagating what he called lies about the status of UDF and him as its leader.
Muluzi was speaking in Mangochi Malindi Ward when he drummed up support for the party’s candidate for the April 10 Local Government by-elections.
Muluzi said UDF is happy for the contribution it has made towards socio-economic development of the country while working with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)- led administration.
He said that his joining of the DPP-led government in 2014 was meant to ensure that there is peace and unity, which he described as necessary for development to take place.
“A country cannot develop without peace and unity. Something could have happened if I had not joined the government. As a leader, you need to do everything possible to make sure that your people are living in peace,” he said.
Without coming out clearly as to whether UDF would field a presidential candidate next year, Muluzi blamed the media for peddling what he called lies about the future and status of his party.
He told the gathering that, with the working relationship that is there between DPP and UDF, Malawi will soon be among the fastest growing economies in the world.
For about 20 minutes during which he spoke, the UDF leader seemed distracted and incoherent, which mostly centred on assuring the people that UDF is not on the deathbed as widely believed.
“UDF is still strong under my leadership. Nobody should fool you that UDF has lost popularity,” he said
Before Muluzi spoke, the party’s regional governor for the Eastern Region, Abubakar M’baya, paraded UDF Members of Parliament (MPs) and councillors from Mangochi and Machinga.
Mbaya indicated that he was presenting the MPs and councillors to prove to the people that UDF is still strong in the Eastern Region despite claims that the party is no longer popular.
Last week, while at UDF headquarters in Limbe, Muluzi told district executive committee members of the party that he is ready to contest for the presidency in 2019.
However, Muluzi has been resisting calls for him to resign as Cabinet minister in order to concentrate on rebuilding the party.