United Democratic Front (UDF) chairperson Cassim Chilumpha on Saturday accused former president Bakili Muluzi and his son, Atupele, of promoting family interests at the expense of the party.
But UDF presidential aspirant Atupele has since dismissed Chilumphaâ€™s assertions, saying the party should instead promote healthy competition for its aspirants.
Speaking at a rally in Nkhotakota, Chilumpha, who belongs to the camp led by Friday Jumbe, said UDF needs to sell itself first before promoting 2014 elections aspirants.
â€œThis is time to sell the party and not individuals. We should tell people what we have in store for them if we get into government. As a party serious to get back into government, this is the first step.
â€œAfter selling the party, the floor will be opened for interested people to compete for positions they would like to hold. What Atupele and his father are doing is mere family advertisement which cannot help the party,â€ said Chilumpha.
No presidential candidate yet for UDF
He argued UDF has not yet identified a presidential candidate.
â€œAfter the convention, those that would win, even if it would be Atupele himself, will get full party support because our focus is to free the nation from the current troubles,â€ said Chilumpha.
Atupele, however, said he has been holding rallies to keep the party alive. He said he is now happy that party officials have began engaging people through rallies.
â€œA party needs to be in frequent contact with the people to get what people want and advance its agenda. I am happy that they have now begun holding rallies and I would love to accompany them,â€ said Atupele.
But he said the party should promote healthy competition among aspirants.
â€œIn true democracy, you let people compete, but the final representatives are chosen at a convention. That is what I expect from our party and not rushing into condemning other aspirants,â€ said Atupele.
UDF officials who attended the rally included Jumbe, Hophmally Makande, Sam Mpasu and Humphrey Mvula.