Opposition United Democratic Front and Malawi presidential hopeful Atupele Muluzi has made a U-turn on his aspirations for the highest office, arguing his ‘Agenda for Change’ campaign was never meant for the presidency.
In an interview on Monday, Atupele said his campaign was about bringing change in the county and not necessarily for him to become President of the Republic.
Atupele was responding to a question on whether his aspirations would remain intact following his appointment to Cabinet as Minister of Economic Planning and Development last week by President Joyce Banda.
Said Atupele: “We have been talking about seeing change in politics, creating wealth for our people, new type of thinking, new ideas, new people, promoting women and young people. The change of circumstances with Banda as southern Africa’s first female President is a process towards changing the nation.
“The President is the most influential person that can bring about change. How am I going to campaign when unexpected change has come? The crucial thing now is to address the economic challenges the country is facing by putting our political differences aside.”
But Chancellor College political science associate professor Blessings Chinsinga dismissed Atupele’s assertions that he had not been campaigning for the top most job in the country, arguing it was clear the young Muluzi was positioning himself for the same.
Said Chinsinga: “He should have been honest that his U-turn is a result of what has happened and he realised he could not continue campaigning while in a government to which he was an integral part of.
“His decision is in a way disappointing to the millions of followers he had allowed, particularly UDF youthful members to whom he became their hope to revamping the party. There are people who believed in youthful leadership who wanted him to go all the way.”
But Chinsinga said the move is a blessing in disguise for Atupele who will be accorded the opportunity to gain experience in government to boost his profile before vying for the presidency since the only experience he has is being a mere MP.