State House has quashed rumours hovering on the social media indicating that President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has picked Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi who is also United Democratic Front (UDF) President as his runningmate in the forthcoming tripartite election.

Recently rumours has been hovering on the social media claiming that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is in talks with UDF for a possible electoral alliance which will see President Mutharika partnering the Young Muluzi.

The rumour has also been ignited by an audio clip of telephone conversation between former President Dr. Bakili Muluzi with an aspiring MP for Nkhota-kota celebrating the hand-picking of Atupele as Mutharika’s runningmate.

Muluzi is held in the conversation telling the aspiring MP to work hard because Atupele has been informed of the aspiring MP’s candidature.

Speaking an in interview with the press Presidential Press Officer Mgeme Kalilani described the rumours as fake.

Kalilani said President Mutharika is yet to pick his runningmate ahead of the forthcoming May 21, 2019 tripartite election.

On his part UDF Spokesperson Ken Ndanga defended Muluzi’s telephone conversation.

“Former President Dr. Bakili Muluzi did not say anything about the issues of UDF president Rt. Atupele Muluzi being appointed runningmate to anybody in any telephone conversation.

“In recorded telephone conversation which has gone viral, he simply says ” Atupele has been informed ” about a potential UDF candidate in Zomba which is normal,” said Ndanga.

He added: “This was a normal telephone conversation which was simply encouraging a potential UDF candidate to stand on a UDF ticket.

“In the conversation the retired president is not even making any decision and it’s very clear that the process of identifying candidates is, being handled by Honourable Clement Stambuli who is the Director of Elections in the UDF party.

“Any information to the contrary is utterly fake news and must be treated with the contempt it deserves.”

Meanwhile political analyst Humphrey Mvula has urged the DPP family to tread carefully on the runningmate issue.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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