Blantyre, Malawi, Nov. 12 (Newstime Africa) – Austin Atupele Muluzi, son of former Malawi president Bakili Muluzi, has quit the Joyce Banda administration citing issues of principle, his aide has confirmed. “I can confirm Hon. Atupele Muluzi has resigned based on his principles,” said Charles Mkozomba, Muluzi’s personal assistant.
Muluzi, 34 – who has just been elected National Chairman and 2014 presidential candidate for the former ruling United Democratic Front (UDF), was Economic Planning and Development minister in Banda’s ‘inclusive’ government. Banda, who came to power with her Peoples Party (PP) following the death in April of President Bingu wa Mutharika, roped in politicians from other political parties.
Mkozomba, the youthful politician’s aide, could not explain Muluzi’s ‘principles’ but his shock resignation comes fast on the heels of a public tongue-lashing from senior PP officials at the weekend. The PP officials took turns at deriding the youthful politician’s ambitions to challenge Banda for the presidency in 2014. President Banda was in attendance at the rally that ironically took place in the UDF stronghold of the southern lakeshore district of Mangochi.
Muluzi himself briefly confirmed on his way to Parliament he could no longer serve in a government whose members have no courtesy to colleagues. “I expected a bit of respect from my colleagues in government but I regret I can no longer serve in a government that has no respect for colleagues,” he said.
Muluzi’s said he accepted the cabinet job to assist Malawi come back from the economic precipice that the former Mutharika administration pushed Malawi. He said he is still committed to serving the country but his position in government was untenable.”It is with deep regret that I quit government but my position has become untenable,” he said.
Muluzi’s resignation opens another opposition front for Banda’s fragile government. So far her serious opponent was Mutharika’s younger brother, Prof. Peter Arthur Mutharika, who is acting president of the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Muluzi’s UDF was a potential electoral partner for Banda’s PP in 2014. His departure means Banda has to wade off a two-pronged challenge from Muluzi and
Mutharika, both of whom draw most of their support from the populous southern region just like Banda.(
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