Malawi: The resignation Of Atupele Muluzi may weaken Banda’s party

Atupele Muluzi, left, greats leader of opposition John Tembo.
The resignation of Atupele Muluzi as Malawi’s economic planning minister on Monday may weaken the governing Peoples’ Party (PP) in parliament and strengthen democracy ahead of the 2014 elections when President Joyce Banda will seek a mandate to rule, political pundits have said.

Atupele, the eldest son of former president Bakili Muluzi, is a charismatic 34-year-old lawyer who is increasingly becoming popular amongst the youths, who make up more than half of Malawi’s population.

He was recently elected by his father’s United Democratic Front (UDF) as the torch bearer for the 2014 elections and was widely expected to resign his cabinet post.

But on Monday he sounded like he never wanted to leave cabinet blaming Banda’s deputy as the reason he quit. In solidarity, all the 16 UDF MPs left the government side in parliament only to change today after some consultations.

Over the weekend the Vice President and other senior members of the governing party took turns at a public rally to castigate the young Muluzi for his ambition to rule Malawi one day.

Chancellor College political analyst Joseph Chunga said in an interview that the resignation gives Malawians more alternatives for the 2014

“ His decision to resign is going to change the current political landscape because in 2014 people need to have alternatives and without Atupele, people were running out of options,” said Chunga

Chunga gave Atupele a good chance of making it in 2014 saying that the
country’s current “leadership alternatives have no much edge over

But the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) Publicity Secretary Reverend
Maurice Munthali said the move does not change anything in terms of
leadership alternatives.

Pac Publicity Secretary Maurice Munthali said the departure of Muluzi,
especially considering that it follows the Mangochi rallies, should be
regarded as the “beginning of the end of the PP.”

“It has not changed anything and as we have said before as Pac, it is
only after our leadership is transformed or the leaders change their
mindset that this country would be changed. To me it is like we have
just come out of Egypt and we are still in the wilderness, not yet in
Cannan,” he added.

Munthali also said he was not surprised with the resignation.

Another political analyst, Dr Henry Chingaipe said Atupele’s  resignation weakens the PP in the House.

He, however, said that Atupele needs to develop a thick skin if he adores to be President of Malawi.

“He is supposed to show statesmanship. Every leader is subject to public ridicule and criticism,” he said.

Muluzi was roped into President Banda’s first ever Cabinet following
the death of Bingu wa Mutharika in April this year.