United Democratic Front (UDF) vice-president (South) Lance Mbewe has resigned from his position, saying he wants to concentrate on his businesses.
In a letter to UDF secretary general Kandi Padambo dated May 24 2021, Mbewe thanked the party for offering him an opportunity to serve, but pledged to help with transition if the party would need his help.
While he was coy on whether he has also resigned from the party, Padambo, who in an interview yesterday said he had been engaging Mbewe on the matter, he said hoped the former veep will remain a UDF member.
In his resignation letter, Mbewe, son to one of UDF’s founding members the late Patrick Mbewe, thanked UDF for the experience and growth opportunities he gained while in that position.
He said: “I really appreciate the experience and the growth opportunities I have gained while working with you and I believe I have been fortunate amongst many to have been accorded the opportunity. I would like to thank the pesident, vice-presidents, all NEC [national executive committee] members, regional governors and the entire UDF membership for the support rendered to me during my tenure.”
In an interview, Mbewe could not state his next political move or whether he remains a UDF member, insisting that “for now I just want to concentrate on my businesses”.
But in a separate interview, Padambo said the party has been dealt a big blow with Mbewe’s decision, describing him as a dedicated member who worked to help the party grow.
“We engaged in discussions on his decision, but he has made up his mind. We have received the decision with regret and sadness because he was an instrumental member, very dedicated in his service to the party.
“He has served in various capacities, and during the last convention, he was voted overwhelmingly to the position of vice-president for the South. His departure is a loss to the party but we wish him well,” Padambo said.
Before being voted veep South, Mbewe served as director of international relations and during the 2019 elections, he served as chairperson of primary elections in the party. In the June 23 2020 fresh presidential election, UDF partnered the former governing Democratic Progressive Party, with its president Atupele Muluzi as running mate for Peter Mutharika.