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Convention is last resort to UDF leadership wrangle – Muluzi

Former Malawi President Dr. Bakili Muluzi has said the forth coming United Democratic Front-UDF – national convention is the only way out of the leadership crisis that has rocked the former ruling party for several years now.

Dr. Muluzi’s remarks come at a time the dispute has reached its climax with the Friday Jumbe camp fighting to obtain an injunction to stop the Kennedy Makwangwala side (backed by Muluzi) from holding the convention on October 30.

Speaking in an interview with the media from South Africa where he is receiving medical treatment, the former Malawi president and ex-UDF national chairman expressed optimism that the indaba will act as a beacon of peace restoration within the party he helped found.

“The answer to all these problems is to have a convention where owners of the party will gather to and decide who their leaders should be,” he said.

Dr Muluzi acknowledged that squabbles are common especially during power transition in party politics.

“All this is to do with the question of party leadership. What is happening in the party is a transition problem, what we are seeing is not a fight but trying to find out who would become the party’s leaders,” he said.

While he is optimistic, back home in Malawi the case is relatively different.

Local Media reports indicate that Mr. Jumbe’s side insists that a national convention cannot solve the party’s problems because of divided loyalty among delegates hence taking an injunction to stop the convention.

A court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday to determine the fate of the convention’s future.

Dr. Muluzi has been accused by the Jumbe camp of secretly funding the convention in order to push for his son, Atupele who is an MP, to take over the leadership.

He denied the allegation, but added that even if was funding it, there could be no problem because a retired pastor cannot be stopped from helping a congregation he once served.

Mr Jumbe was elected as acting president after Dr Muluzi resigned as party chairperson.

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