Leader of one of the factions of the UDF, Friday Jumbe, has thrown his weight behind the partyâ€™s two MPs, Atupele Muluzi and Ibrahim Matola, for defying calls for them to leave government side in Parliament and join the opposition.
Jumbe said in an interview on Wednesday that some UDF leaders are just being jealous of the two MPs, who are in President Joyce Bandaâ€™s Cabinet.
Ironically, Jumbe was a strong critic of Muluzi, who is now Minister of Economic Planning and Development, when the MP came in the open that he wanted to lead the party as its presidential candidate in 2014.
â€œIf they think that all the 15 MPs can be ministers, they should know that it does not work like that,â€ said Jumbe.
Added Jumbe in reference to his troubled party: â€œAgain, you cannot tell somebody to resign and join you when you are soaking in the rain yourself. These are young men who have never worked in government. Let them gain experience and grow in politics. As a party, they should have been proud of that.â€
Muluzi, Machinga North East MP, and Matola, who is Deputy Minister of Environment and Climate Change Management, were roped into Cabinet soon after Banda took over the reins of power in April this year.
Jumbe questioned the rationale of letting the Peopleâ€™s Party (PP) and UDF work in government for just four months.
â€œWhat was supposed to be done is to call the PP leadership, discuss the concerns before announcing the move to the media. It is surprising to hear that the PP is still waiting for official communication,â€ said Jumbe.
He also said the partyâ€™s national executive committee (NEC) meeting where the decision to leave government was made was illegal.
Jumbe also expressed suspicion of the money used to fund both the NEC meeting and the convention.
UDF secretary general Kennedy Makwangwala in an interview on Wednesday declined to comment on Jumbeâ€™s sentiments, saying the other faction has different ideas from UDF.Â