Opposition UDF president and 2014 presidential candidate Atupele Muluzi on Sunday relaunched his Agenda for Change campaign months after making a U-turn on the same following his appointment into President Joyce Banda’s Cabinet.
He also pledged civilised politics.
Atupele returned to Njamba Freedom Park in Malawi’s commercial city, Blantyre, on Sunday where thousands of United Democratic Front (UDF) followers gathered despite being soaked in the rains earlier in the day.
But the Machinga North East Member of Parliament (MP), 34, who last week resigned from the Cabinet where he served as Minister of Economic Planning and Development since April this year, fell short of highlighting issues that forced him to tender his resignation.
Atupele, however, cautioned those looking down upon him because of his tender age.
He said: “Look at my leadership qualities and the future we have. This is a message to all Malawians. Today marks the new dawn. Today marks a new beginning. Whether one likes it or not, UDF will bounce back into government in 2014. UDF will be a force for change.”
To this, the crowd, dressed in yellow, shouted in unison: “Atupele yemweyo!”
On his agenda, Atupele said, is the economy which has slumped in recent years. Muluzi wondered how Malawians would be poor almost 50 years after the attainment of independence.
He announced that next year, the party will hold a policy convention to look at guidelines in job creation, food security, health, energy and water, among other issues.
Earlier, Atupele welcomed new national executive committee (NEC) members that have been co-opted into the committee.
New secretary general Kandi Padambo, who called out the names, in an interview, said the status quo of UDF MPs in Parliament remains the same. They will be sitting on government benches.
But he said the party will soon hold a caucus with its MPs which may decide otherwise.
Meanwhile, the NEC has abolished the position of national chairman, preferring the term ‘president’. Padambo said the position has been abolished to avoid confusing the party followers.