Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-United Democratic Front (UDF) alliance running mate Atupele Muluzi has said he is not going to be distracted by hate-filled speeches and attacks by opposition leaders, saying he will stick to issue-based campaign.
“My campaign is issued based. The mudslingin, sindikupanga nawo [ I am not party to it].I have no time to speak about people’s personal issues because Malawians deserve development that will help them,” said the 41-year-old Minister of Energy.
He was speaking when he addressed a televised campaign rally on Saturday at Masintha Ground in Lilongwe, in what was a first major rally of the DPP-UDF alliance in the capital city.
Atupele, who is the president of UDF which is in alliance with DPP, added : “Am afraid to say that some have stopped talking of real issues and substance but are busy with family which is unfortunate. But I understand them because they have nothing to show to the people of Malawi except insults.”
He said the Mutharika-led government will continue to initiate more development projects and that he had np time to trade slurs.
“I have been privileged to speak on some of the big development projects that His Excellency Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika has done so far in this country, like National Cancer Centre in Lilongwe, Njakwa bridge in Rumphi, Chapananga bridge in Chikwawa, Peter Mutharika Highway in Mangochi, Area 18 interchange road in Lilongwe, dual carriage way in Blantyre,” he said.
“Our alliance is about development. This is why when I address a campaign rally, I am only emphasizing on development issues. They (MCP and UTM) do not have ideas to develop the country which is why they are concentrating on tarnishing the image of my father [former president Bakili Muluzi who governed Malawi from 1994-2004,” he told the rally.
He asked Malawians to vote for the DPP-UDF alliance for continued development of the country.
Atupele highlighted among others, Mutharika administration has reduced inflation and interest rates to improve the economy.
“Once voted again our government will prioritize food security. You have seen that President Mutharika has already opened 15 irrigation schemes, including Bwanje in Dedza. We will also introduce special cash transfer for university graduates to start businesses,” he said.
As Minister of Energy, Atupele also promised that the DPP-UDF alliance will work to end electricity blackouts. He also promised that he and Mutharika will be hitting the campaign trail together where they will highlight more development blueprint the alliance has outlined.
Other notable faces who spoke at the rally included DPP’s Campaign Director, Everton Chimulirenji (Mutharika’s running mate in last year’s nullified election), UDF Publicity Secretary, Ken Ndanga, Secretary General Kandi Padambo and DPP’s National Governing Council (NGC) Member, Hetherwick Ntaba.
Chimulirenji :said he is not a frustrated man as some overzealous opposition leaders proclaim.
He said he will support Mutharika and Atupele wholeheartedly, disclosing that he will be chairing the campaign for the fresh elections.
Ntaba also refuted allegations levelled against him that he is to join the Tonse Alliance as propagated by opposition.
“I am a founding member of DPP and I have no reasons for to dump the DPP and APM”,said the ” computer” as he is fondly known in political circles.
The rally also saw the DPP-UDF alliance welcoming into its fold former UTM Deputy Secretary General, Levy Luwemba, who during his speech said he had quit the UTM because it has been swallowed by the Malawi Congress Party.
Malawi, a lakeside southern African nation, depends heavily on foreign aid and is frequently beset by worsening droughts.
Mutharika, a former law professor, has managed to rein in rising prices of basic goods and improved Malawi’s roads and other infrastructure.
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