The opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) has written speaker of the National Assembly, Henry Chimunthu-Banda to allocate UDF MPs seats in the opposition benches, because the party has pulled out of government.
According to the former UDF secretary general Kennedy Makwangwala, UDF has agreed to pull out of government because the party does not want to be swallowed by another party.
However, some of the UDF MPs Atupele Muluzi who now heads the party as UDF Chairman is a full cabinet minister while Ibrahim Matola is a deputy minister in the Banda government.
Our sister paper The Daily Times carried a survey that asked the public’s opinion on the new development. To be precise, the survey sought views on whether Atupele Muluzi should remain in cabinet now that UDF has severed its ties with Banda’s government of national unity.
Up to 49 percent of the people who voted said there is need for a cabinet reshuffle to re¬move Atupele from cabinet.
However, 48 percent of the participants said he should remain in cabinet for the time being until when cabinet is dissolved pending elections in 2014. Only three percent of the votes were null and void.
Those who said that Muluzi should be removed from cabinet argued that it is not pos¬sible for him to serve two masters especially now that he is heading UDF, a position they say will require his full attention.
One of the anonymous respondents said: “No. He cannot serve two masters at a time considering that now he is heading the party”.
Another one simply said: “Reshuffle cabinet please!”
The two respondents represent the 49 percent of the participants who want Muluzi removed from cabinet.
On the other hand, some of the respondents in the 48 percent bracket said they see no reason for Muluzi to be removed from cabinet.
“Let him remain in the cabinet for now. 2014 is not far from today after all cabinet will be dissolved then,” said an anonymous respondent who only identified their place of residence as Ntcheu.
In his comments, Muluzi has ruled out leaving government saying the country’s harsh political and economic situation needs his party’s attention.