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Atupele Muluzi ‘fired’ from United Democratic Front

United Democratic Front (UDF) members who are against the working partnership between their party and governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have disclosed they will not endorse their current leader, Atupele Muluzi, at the party’s convention even if he ends the pact with DPP.

Muluzi and all UDF Members of Parliament (MPs), except Lucius Banda, moved to the government benches in the august House following the working agreement.

Banda has been critical of the partnership, saying it does not hold because there is no formal document to concretise it and that it does not benefit the party as a whole.

However, UDF spokesperson, Ken Ndanga, has been arguing that the working relationship between his party and DPP is based on mutual development agendas.

But according to some party members and officials who convened a press conference in Lilongwe on Thursday, Muluzi “and a few others” are simply greedy and are killing the party through the partnership.

UDF Deputy Director of Women Affairs Zaituna Yusuf, Central Region Governor Dinocious Magombo, Central Region Director of Women Emily India and six district governors led the conference where they endorsed Banda as the party’s torchbearer for the 2019 elections.

Yusuf, Magombo and UDF vice-president, Iqbar Omar, were fired from the party before the courts reinstated them early this year.

But in an interview yesterday, the party’s secretary general (SG) Kandi Padambo maintained that Yusuf, Magombo and Omar are not UDF members and therefore have no authority to convene a press conference in the name of the party.

“Those who vote at the convention are UDF members and those that you are mentioning were fired from the party. In that regard, they have nothing to do with the party. In any case, if they were indeed UDF members, they could not hold a press conference on their own.

“The office of the publicity secretary is supposed to coordinate all these things but, because they are not UDF members, they could not go through the office of the publicity secretary,” Padambo said.

During the press conference, Magombo argued that Muluzi lacks leadership skills because in his short political career, he has already been to People’s Party (PP) where he went with some MPs who got stuck there “and now it is with DPP where we are not sure whether he will come back with all the MPs that he took there”.

“We are taking the party out of the Muluzi family because it is not a farm. It belongs to its members who are against the partnership. His current term as the party’s leader ends in October and we will not elect him again at the convention,” Magombo said.

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