A political scientist has warned united democratic front (UDF) to get serous with its strategy ahead of 2014 because it is the worst hit in terms of strategy in the aftermath of Bingu wa Mutharika’s death.
The scientist, Joseph Chunga, who is also the President of Political Scientists Association of Malawi, said this in an exclusive interview on Friday.
“In terms of strategy UDF is the worst of the lot. The Muluzi camp was championing the change agenda, now that they are part of the government they cannot talk about change now and when 2014 comes,” said Chunga.
Chunga said UDF should seriously show that it’s a distinct party even though it’s working with the People’s Party government.
UDF (Atupele Muluzi Camp) through its Secretary General Kennedy Makwangwala, however insists the party is not finished like ‘an old curtain,’ even after mass defection of its members to the ruling People’s Party.
“We are not disturbed by those defections. Most of those defectors are from the Jumbe camp, they had nowhere to go since their positions here at the main party have been filled with others after they failed to heed my call to return,” said Makwangwala.
|UDF Secretary General: Kennedy Makwangwala|
Asked if the power sharing deal that saw some UDF heavy weights like Ibrahim Matola and Atupele Muluzi working with Joyce Banda will affect the former ruling party ahead of 20914, Makwangwala was adamant saying UDF is not scratched.
He however said the coming of Joyce Banda has made them rethink their opposition saying UDF has suspended rallies and is observing Banda and giving her a chance, if she commits mistakes, the rallies will be resumed and the parliamentarians in government will be asked to out.
Asked if UDF strategy was dealt a blow with the sudden demise of Bingu wa Mutharika, Makwangwala admitted.
“Yes, we were getting strong based on the mistakes Mutharika was making, it’s why we are quite now because she is new and we want to give her a chance.”
The cool and composed secretary general insists UDF has healed from the infighting and said by 2014 UDF will have a presidential candidate with the convention slated for 14 October.
Makwangwala charged that the defection to PP is but a passing craze and will stabilize in two months’ time saying already some people are returning to UDF, he gave an example of the central region committee that defected en masse to PP saying it will soon announce its return.
DPP, through its Secretary General, Wakuda Kamanga also admitted that the death of Mutharika dealt them a blow but said the party is still as strong as ever.
“It’s true that the death of Professor Bingu wa Mutharika affected us, its normal but being a party we will proceed and we are actually looking at 2014 as an opportunity to win as an honour to Mutharika,” said Kamanga.
Kamanga said DPP is not afraid of anyone ahead of 2014 and said as far as he knows; DPP is the only party that is in every village, town and region. He also said that there is no infighting in DPP as those that caused division (Hope Alliance) are now in government.
Chunga however observed that DPP will struggle come 2014 because it lost popularity among Malawians and said the only thing they relied on was the incumbency factor which was taken away by PP.
He said that PP may not use the incumbency because most people in PP do not bring anything new to Malawians as they are the same old politicians. He also spoke lowly of MCP and categorised them along the likes of UDF.
“Malawians therefore have no real alternative come 2014 its why the opposition should not give up hope and go joining the ruling party, anyone who can be serious can stand a chance in 2014”