Former ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) has disclosed that it will hold its National Convention towards the end of this year, it has been learnt.
Party Spokesperson Kennedy Makwangwala was reacting to reports that the party has been put in an awkward position following the appointment of its members of parliament (MP’s) by State President of the Republic of Malawi Mrs Joyce Banda as cabinet ministers.
Machinga North Parliamentarian Atupele Muluzi has been appointed as Economic Planning and Development Minister while UDF Chief whip in the house Ibrahim Matola is the new deputy Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
Reacting to the news, Makwangwala said that his party has allowed the two members to get in cabinet as one way to contribute in the development of the country adding that the President had earlier consulted the party before coming up with the appointments of the duo.
“The most important thing about these appointments is that the UDF will now be able to contribute towards the development of the country for the good of all Malawians.
“However, let me put the record straight that Hon Muluzi and Hon Matola have not defected to the PP. They are still UDF members and we look forward to work with them as we map the way forward for the forthcoming 2014 General Elections,” he told the local media.
Quizzed whether the UDF will continue with its meetings where Atupele was championing his ‘Agenda for Change’ campaign,ahead of the polls, Makwangwala had this to say,”We are still going to continue adressing rallies as one way of strengthening the party”
He, therefore disclosed that the UDF has appoined a commitee headed by former Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Dr Bakili Muluzi-led admininstration Lilian Patel to start preparations for the convention.
Patel also chaired the previous UDF convention where Dr Muluzi defeated the then vice President Dr Cassim Chilumpha only to be barred by the Election Commission (EC) to stand from the elections that saw late President Professor Bingu wa Mutharika getting back in office with a landslide on his DPP ticket,
The UDF has been sailing in troubled waters for the past years following the resignation of Dr Muluzi from active politics on health grounds.
Later, divisions rocked the once mighty party that eventually led to the formation of two camps, one having Friday Jumbe as a leader while the other is being led by George Nga Ntafu and Makwangwala.
The Jumbe camp has been on record as alleging that Dr Muluzi was behind the formation of the Ntafu camp inorder to bulldoze his son Atupele to lead the party in 2014 polls.
But Dr Muluzi has on a number of ocassions vehemently denied the allegations explaining that he was only coming in to unite the two camps.
The UDF is desperately looking for over K20 million to hold its National Convention.
Former Sports and Culture Minister Moses Dossi and Lawyer Fahad Assani and Atupele are some of the people who have come out in the open expressing their interest to contest for the position of Presidential Candidate at the yet to be conducted convention.