By Yohane Symon:
Atupele Muluzi has claimed that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led government has implemented some development projects which his United Democratic Front (UDF) suggested in its manifesto for 2014 elections.
Addressing a political rally at Majuni Primary School Ground in Mangochi District on Sunday to drum up support ahead of the May 21 Tripartite Elections, Muluzi said he was the only presidential candidate who could be trusted to deliver due to his track record and vast experience gained from serving in ministries since 2014.
Muluzi is Health Minister in the DPP-led government.
During the rally, Muluzi outlined several development programmes, contained in UDF manifesto, which the government has implemented.
Muluzi cited Mangochi-Liwonde Road, commencement of passport printing in the district and introduction of national identity cards as some of his signature projects that have been implement because he serves in President Peter Mutharika-led DPP government.
He also said he initiated the construction of Lilongwe Cancer Centre and had secured money construction of more pharmacies and rural hospitals across the country once he takes over the government after May 21 Tripartite Elections.
Muluzi also lamented high unemployment levels in the country, saying they were leading to increased migration of Malawians who belong to the productive age group.
“I am the only presidential candidate who, in 2014, promised Mangochi-Liwonde Road. I was also the only one whose manifesto mentioned introduction of passport printing services in Mangochi. And when I was Minister of Energy, I increased the number of rural areas that were connected to the power grid. And it is through my ministry that we introduced land laws that empower Malawians to own land,” he said.
Muluzi, visibly charged and confident, challenged other presidential candidates that they will not come up with a better manifesto than what UDF will launch in Lilongwe next week.
“I am not like other people who are just talking about things which they will not be able to implement. What they are promising are things which are contained in my 2014 manifesto. This means that I am way ahead of them. They cannot match me when it comes to knowing what Malawians need,” he said.
Muluzi said he would contest for the presidency alongside his running mate Frank Mwenifumbo who did not attend the Mangochi rally.
“Go and ask around, I have worked in four ministries and my record is impressive. I can assure you that the whole world is waiting for a youthful president in Malawi after the May 21 elections and that president is Atupele Muluzi and nobody else,” Muluzi said.
He dispelled reports making rounds that he was intending to withdraw from the presidential race.
In an interview after the rally, UDF publicity secretary, Ken Ndanga, said what Muluzi said during the rally were facts which can be verified easily by referring back to the party’s manifesto of 2014 and speeches.
“Right honourable Muluzi has held various ministerial positions and, from there, he has managed to implement things which, he believes, are good for Malawians. Those who were around know that the issue of passport printing in Mangochi is the brainchild of UDF. The examples are many,” Ndanga said.
He added that Muluzi’s role in Cabinet is confined to a particular ministry which makes it difficult for him to implement everything he promised during the 2014 campaign.
In a separate interview, DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi refused to comment on Muluzi’s sentiments, requesting for more time to consult.