Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) has appointed a committee to organise the party’s national convention ahead of next year’s tripartite elections.
A press statement signed by the party’s secretary general Kandi Padambo, released yesterday, indicates that the committee will be chaired by Charles Kachikuwo who will be deputised by Mangochi South legislator, Lilian Patel.
Reads the statement, in part: “Please be informed that in pursuance of relevant articles of the UDF constitution and a resolution of the national executive committee (NEC), for a national conference [Convention] to be held this year, 2018, it has pleased, the president, Right Honourable Atupele Muluzi, subject to ratification by the NEC, to approve the composition of the national conference organising committee.”
The appointment of the committee comes barely a week after UDF regional governors asked the party’s NEC to start preparing for the 2019 elections.
In an interview yesterday, UDF spokesperson Ken Ndanga confirmed the appointment of the committee, which he said has already started working.
“The party has appointed this committee, which will guide it to a successful convention. It will decide the venue, date and budget of the convention. And all the positions in the party will be up for grabs,” he said.
According to Padambo’s statement, other members of the committee are Carton Sichinga, Clement Chiwaya, who is also Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Lance Mbewe, Godfrey Chapola and Clement Stambuli.
Chancellor College-based political analyst Mustafa Hussein has since welcomed the development in UDF, saying the convention will provide an opportunity to clarify major concerns of some of the party’s members.
“People have great expectation of UDF because it is a mother party. It needs to clarify whether the party will stand on its own or will have an alliance with the ruling DPP [Democratic Progressive Party],” he said.
Atupele, who heads the UDF, is Minister of Health in the DPP-led government.
Last August, some political analysts said the party was on its deathbed following its indecisiveness regarding its status in the 2019 Tripartite Elections.