Malawiâ€™s former president Bakili Muluzi is free to contribute money towards the October 30 gathering scheduled for Blantyre.
In an interview on Monday, Patel said UDF is struggling to raise money for the convention and that they appealed to well-wishers to support the conference which is expected to elect UDF torch-bearers in the 2014 presidential race.
She said UDF is looking for â€œa huge amount of moneyâ€ to support the convention and that if well-wishers would not come forward, then the party would be forced to cut down on nonessential expenditure.
Said Patel: â€œI donâ€™t know why allegations of Dr Muluzi funding the convention keep coming because we have just made an appeal to well-wishers for support. This means that anybody can fund the convention, including Dr Bakili Muluzi. He can support the convention in response to our appeal for well-wishers, but he has not pledged anything so far.â€
She said UDF expects to spend about K20 million to cover costs for party cloth, T-shirts, transport and food for delegates.
Patel also expressed surprise that some quarters were questioning the election of a presidential candidate at the convention, saying the 2008 convention amended the party constitution so that the candidate is elected three years after the general elections.
UDF interim president Friday Jumbe said his faction would not change its position on the legality of the convention, saying it remains an illegal gathering funded by the former national chairperson, Muluzi.
â€œWe canâ€™t change our position and as far as we are concerned, it remains an illegal gathering. The appeal for well-wishers is just a gimmick. If they didnâ€™t have money, they could not go this far in preparing for the convention. The money is available and it is paid by Bakili Muluzi, period,â€ he claimed.