Atupele banking on last 30 days

Written by  Kondwani Magombo, Mana

United Democratic Front (UDF) presidential candidate, Atupele Muluzi, says he is going to unleash and implement his winning strategy in the 30 days prior to the May 21 elections.

UDF leader Atupele Muluzi UDF leader Atupele Muluzi

Muluzi disclosed this at Masuku Ground in Mangochi on Sunday where he graced the unveiling of manifesto for UDF parliamentary candidate for Mangochi South Constituency, Lillian Patel.

The UDF presidential candidate said experience has taught him one important lesson in politics, that the period that matters in presidential elections is the 30 days prior to the polling day.

“Let me tell you one thing, there are two presidents who have taught me politics and these are Atcheya, former president Dr. Bakili Muluzi, and former Zambian President, late Michael Sata,” he said.

He went on: “Sata told me: ‘My son, politics requires patience; don’t be in a hurry to get to the top. Take it easy and spring when time is ripe’, and true to his word, during the 2011 election, Sata capitalized on the last three-weeks and he beat the incumbent Rupiah Banda and became the president of Zambia,” said Muluzi.

Muluzi confessed that in 2014 he hit the ground running in all directions during campaign without proper strategy but he said this time he is more focused.

The UDF presidential candidate also broke silence on his perceived indecisiveness where he is contesting as presidential candidate while he is serving in the current government.

Muluzi, who is currently Minister of Health, said his stay in government, serving and delivering in various portfolios over the past years, has been his way of telling the world that people can differ in ideologies but still work together for the common good.

“I have left everyone confused and wondering as to what my next move is going to be and many have asked: ‘What is Atupele up to?’ But my answer is very simple: I’ve been teaching them politics,” he said.

On the launch of Patel’s manifesto, Muluzi described the Mangochi South candidate as “gold not only to UDF party but to the nation as a whole” saying the veteran parliamentarian has delivered in her political journey.

Patel’s manifesto focuses on up-scaling agriculture, health, education, electricity and infrastructure development in her constituency, continuing from where she stopped during her previous reign.

However, Patel bemoaned what she described as “politics of savagery” where the UDF candidate claimed she is suffering insults and unfounded accusations from her opponents.

“My opponents are accusing me of stealing CDF funds. I’d like to challenge them to go to the District Council and find out if I’ve ever pocketed any single coin from the CDF!” said Patel.

The UDF candidate, who is also UDF Vice President for the Eastern Region, then outlined how she had utilized various funds from the council by implementing various developments in her constituency.

Other speakers included the party’s national organizing secretary, Abu-Bakar M'baya and other officials for the party.

M'baya said current statistics indicate that UDF will carry the day on May 21, saying out of 1.2 million votes from the eastern region 1 million will go to UDF and that the party will scoop additional votes from the South, Central and North.  

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