Analysts say DPP scapegoating on presidential debate: Mutharika boycotts

The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)  has insisted that Malawians should forget about having President Peter Mutharika articulating his development agenda through televised presidential debates which starts Friday night in Lilongwe.

Mutharika snubs presidential debates
Leading candidate invited to first presidential debates: Mutharika, Muluzi, Chakwera and Chilima

DPP spokesperson Nicholous Dausi told Times Radio on Thursday that Mutharika would not take part in the presidential debate ahead of the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections .

“President Mutharika will not take part in the debate,” said Dausi.

DPP says it has reservations with the integrity of those behind the organisation of the same.

The live presidential debates, scheduled to host all the nine presidential aspirants, will be in three phases with the first group on March 29, the second on April 2 and the final group on April 5 at Bingu International Convetion Centre (BICC).

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi Chapter chairperson Teresa Ndaga, who is also chairing the task force organising the presidential debates, said they are still persuading DPP as well as the President to make him change his mind by humbling himself and joining the other candidates on March 29 in the first of the three debates lined up for all presidential candidates.

The presidential debate is being organised by consortium of different entities including media houses, such as the taxpayer-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and privately-owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) and Times Media Group.

Other organisations include Misa Malawi, National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice), Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD), Democracy Works Foundation (DWF), Public Affairs Committee (PAC), National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Voluntary Service Organisation, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), Malawi Law Society (MLS) and Civil Society Agriculture Network (Cisanet).

Analysts have argued that the reason the DPP has given for its presidential candidate Mutharika not participating in presidential debates is just a cover up.

Political commentator and Malawi News columnist George Kasakula urges President Mutharika to reconsider his stand.

“These candidates are looking for a job—fighting for one job—and Malawians are essentially calling them to an interview. It does not make sense for any candidate to shun the interview from the owners of the job and then hope to get it at the end,” argued Kasakula in his ‘Hitting the nail’ column.

He added: “Those who feel big and refuse to humble themselves are saying Malawians can go to hell, yet, on May 21, they expect the same Malawians to vote for them, which is a total contradiction.

“The debates will be watched by millions of Malawians, eager to see and hear what their leaders will say and who deserves their vote and has plans to safeguard their futures and that of their children.”

The columnist continued:“The President should change his mind and shame those that have already started making bad jokes tagging him as a coward who is afraid of facing up to political opponents.

“Mutharika must stop listening to bad advisers who are telling him that he will get embarrassed and concocting lies that those organising the debates have integrity issues because they are not naming and describing the matters that they are talking of bordering on poor integrity.”

In the run-up to the May 20 2014 elections, then incumbent president Joyce Banda shunned the two presidential debates held in Blantyre and Lilongwe, while her running mate, Sosten Gwengwe  participated in the first one before ducking the second leg of the running mates in Blantyre.

Mutharika, who was then a presidential hopeful in opposition, failed to attend the Lilongwe presidential debate , but turned up for the one in Blantyre while Vice-President Saulos Chilima then a running mate to Mutharika, attended both debates.

Kasakula pointed out that history shows that  “it does not end well for politicians that think they are big and do not humble and avail themselves to be quizzed on relevant issues by the people of Malawi.”

On his part, governance expert and commentator Makhumbo Munthali said the resonas for DPP pulling out of the debate are not genuine and that it is a missed opportunity.

“It is sad that the ruling parties in Malawi have in recent years run away from such debates,” he said, adding “this is bad for democracy.”

Legal expert Thoko Kaime also quashed DPP, sayng the reasons for shunning the debates has nothing to do with the integrity of the process.

“That’s just new nyusesi[hot air] being peddled by the party,” he wrote on social media.

He said President Mutharika would have had a lot of defending to do for the  “145 questions for which they have no believable answers.”

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George kawawa
George kawawa
3 years ago

Mutharika is a coward and should forget ever returning to tye state house come May21st.he will look back at whether he should have attended these debates coz hes been lied to by his advisors not to attend the debates.u want the people of Malawi to employ u as a president and u shun th interviews😂😂mark my words Peter u wont win.

Nzika
Nzika
3 years ago

Iwe King Jullienne chanichani ukunama zoti DPP siimaima pachulu…..,nanga zomwe akhala akunena mmisonkhano ya campaign kumauza anthu zomwe apanga sikuima pachulu kumeneko? Kodi munthu amadzitamilira yekha? N’chachidziwikire kuti APM akuopa as akalephera kuyankha mafunso otentha paja kuyankhula kumamuvuta, amangckhala ngati wavumata chimanga chokazinga m’kamwa!

Heavenly Being
Heavenly Being
3 years ago

dzanja lalemba, dpp out !!!

Alamu Pumani Mwakalamba K145 million Munaba

Muthalika ran away from old people nursing home in USA. He is almost incapacitated. He was alive during the Nazi rule. Nkhalamba singakwanitse debate.

Sokonombwe
Sokonombwe
3 years ago

copy and paste is the major problem of current citizenry. By copying USA and UK systems of presidential and premier elections does not make Malawi any closer to the intentions that these two countries impact on their would be voters. It is foolhardy to think otherwise that the outcome of such a debate would sway voters. You are only wasting money on dubious debates which could have been put to a well and meaningful use. If these organisations organising these debates are gussy enough why wait for foreign countries to come and assist the country in flood alleviation projects when… Read more »

tonde
3 years ago

What you are saying is useless. If you say the debate has been organized by the people to vote, are you serious ? is the media group the only people to vote ? Which Malawians told the media to organize this debate ? do not waste your time. Mutharika will find another way of articulating his development messages.

Mr. Ibu
3 years ago
Reply to  tonde

Amathawa kukayankha mafuso Ku Parliament akuthawanso mtsutso. A coward of a president.

Roll Out ATI Now
Roll Out ATI Now
3 years ago
Reply to  tonde

Fact of the matter is chathawa. He is a coward someone who has never availed himself for questioning

Adansonia
Adansonia
3 years ago

He knows he is dumb

King jullienne
3 years ago

Dpp simayima pachulu ndikumakuwakuwa ngat agalu ,,,timangopanga zinthu pitani mukawuwe ku debate kwanuko

Mr. Ibu
3 years ago
Reply to  King jullienne

You take Malawians for granted. Let’s see if you will be arrogant on May 21. Chakwera ndi Mia kuti choooooongu!!!!!!

Maki
Maki
3 years ago

In the run-up to the 2014 elections, the same media houses provided Peter Mutharika, while in opposition, this forum and he participated in the debates. Mutharika had no access to MBC that time. Now the media houses are too inferior to question him. Ameneyo ndiye munthu!

Mr. Ibu
3 years ago
Reply to  Maki

He feels too big to be accountable to Malawians.

Joovido
Joovido
3 years ago

Job is given to only the ones attending interviews. moreover Dpp is taking the citizens of this country for granted

Pangaunye
Pangaunye
3 years ago
Reply to  Joovido

True if the interview is given by the prospective employer.

Central
Central
3 years ago

Akumva kutentha heavyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy kotelo kuti sangakwanitse kuima ndi amzake ndipo a Ntaba amulangiza kuti asayelekeze kutelooooooooooooooooo!!

Mbali inayi mwambi omwe wangotipeza ndi wakuti: “Kuopa kuchita nawo zinthu zofunika kunachotsetsa APM ndi DPP m’boma!!”

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