President Peter Mutharika has offered beleaguered UDF President Atupele Muluzi a runningmate position in the forthcoming July fresh presidential election as ordered by the Constitutional Court last week.
We can disclose that Atupele has been meeting Mutharika at Kamuzu Palace for the past few weeks, just days after sticking a pact with MCP President Lazarus Chakwera.
Insiders said Atupele has met Mutharika three times after the famous picture of him posing with Chakwera in Lilongwe where they announced a ‘working relationship’.
The latest meeting between Atupele and Mutharika was three days ago at Kamuzu Palace where a runningmate position deal was offered to the son of the former President Bakili Muluzi.
Already, the young Muluzi has told his members of Parliament of the deal at a meeting held in Lilongwe yesterday.
Three UDF MPs who attended the meeting confirmed in separate interviews of the new deal for their leader.
Atupele also gave each UDF MP who attended the meeting K500,000 ‘as a token of appreciation from President Mutharika’.
“Its true he called for a meeting and told us to support DPP in parliament because we are on the verge of bouncing back in government as he has been offered the runningmate position,” said one UDF MP who refused to be named.
The MP also confirmed having received K500,000 from Atupele after the meeting.
“He told us the money was coming from President Mutharika as a token of appreciation,” said the UDF MP.
A DPP insider also confirmed Atupele is joining them in an electoral alliance.
“Bwana (APM) has offered the youngman the runningmate position. Its true,” he said.
Atupele is said to have also told his MPs that Mutharika ‘literally begged’ him to be runningmate in the fresh elections.
“He told us that APM actually was on his knees to ask Atupele to accept the position. The plan is that APM will then leave the stage for young Muluzi after a year or so. This will be the time we will regroup and get our party back,” said another UDF MP who attended the meeting.
Sources said Mutharika even promised Atupele four cabinet positions when he reshuffles his cabinet in the course of next week.
“Atupele has also been assured that the corruption case against his father Bakili Muluzi will be dropped soon,” he said.
On Sunday, Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director Ryneck Matemba said the Bakili Muluzi corruption case which has been going on for almost 14 years needs a political solution.
“So this is a big win for Atupele as his father will be cleared of the corruption case and he will get the party back which many believe was stolen by the late Bingu Mutharika who dumped the UDF which sponsored him in government in 2005,” said the source.
It is not yet know how some DPP gurus will welcome the news of Atupele becoming Mutharika’s runningmate.
UDF on the other hand has agreed to accept the offer especially with prospects of getting back their party being high.