BLANTYRE--Delegates to opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) national convention on Tuesday endorsed Atupele Muluzi, son to former president and UDF patron Bakili Muluzi as the national chairperson and 2014 presidential candidate, respectively.
Voting begun late afternoon on Tuesday and skidded through to Wednesday morning as delegates cast their votes all night long to see to it that all positions were filled.
The delegates entrusted young Muluzi with the seat of national chairperson with 2, 308 votes whereas Moses Dossi and Ruth Takomana who were also fighting for the same seat got 23 and 2 votes respectively.
Omar Lee was voted as deputy national Chairperson of the party. While second vice national chairperson is Victoria Mponela with Charles Chikuwo as 3rd National Chairperson. Both got the seats unopposed.
Other casualties included Kennedy Makwangwala who lost the position of the secretary general to Kandi Padambo who amassed 1,479 votes. Makwangwala got 189 votes only while Trade Unionist Austin Kalimanjira got 690 votes. Padambo will be deputized y outspoken Gerald Mponda who got 1,154 votes to beat parliamentarian Clement Chiwaya, Lenard Mangulama and Yusuf Mlemba who got 844, 195 and 37 votes respectively.
Veteran Lillian Patel got the position of National organizing secretary after amassing 1,700 votes. National Publicity Secretary is Ken Mndanga. He got 1,164. The deputy publicity secretary is Haward Kananji.
The position of the director of Disability went unopposed to Moffat Yakiti. Others who went unopposed include Director of Protocol Ibrahim Jamah, Director of Agriculture Joyce Chendausiku Ng’oma, Director of Internal Security Mathews Masoapyola, Director of Economic Affairs Victor Mbewe and Director of Transport and Logistics Sameer Sulemani.
Apparently, most top positions have been taken up seemingly by young people who are pro-Atupele Muluzi, who have given UDF Leadership complete a new face.
It transpired that the results of the eight top positions including of national chairperson were announced following anxiety and pressure from dignitaries who came to witness the convention.
Delegates, however, had not finished voting as time struck 04:00 am (Wednesday morning).
Speaking to a local radio station, Atupele Muluzi said was with great honour and humility that he accepted this responsibility to lead a party which has a long history.
"We are at the crossroads of transformation in the country. My role is to take the party back to the grassroots. I am very thankful to the supporters for entrusting me with this opportunity to lead this party. UDF fought for democracy, it achieved alot and there are also some areas which have to be reworked. This is the party of the people and I am here to serve the people.” said the young Muluzi