Vice President and leader of UTM Saulos Chilima has challenged fellow presidential aspirants in the May 21 elections to a live televised debate so that the electorate hear plans of aspiring candidates in transforming the country.
Addressing his first rally of the year at his home village Njewa Primary school Ground in Lilongwe on Wednesday, Chilima called on responsible bodies to organize the presidential debate in English, Chichewa or even Tumbuka so that presidential candidates articulate their vision for the country.
“I am ready for such a debate. This will be a platform where Malawians should appreciate what thosecontesting for the top position of president has in store for them.
“ Even if they say we should debate in Yao, I will have someone to teach me Yao,” said Chilima to the huge crowd that attended the rally.
He said Malawians are expecting presidential candidates to give the electorates workable policies that will give them a better life than castigating each other.
In the same vein, Chilima asked his UTM supporters to stop castigating other political leaders saying people need to hear facts not castigation.
“The other day I had to respond to what the MCP leader and his boys were saying about me, they deliberately wanted to mislead the people so I had to set the record straight,” said Chilima of his remarks on New Year’s Eve at a rally at Kauma in Lilongwe that MCP will never win an election.
During the rally at Njewa, most UTM speakers which included former First Lady Callista Mutharika, new catch from MCP Jessie Kabwila went on the offensive attacking MCP.
But Chilima pleaded with his supporters to stop castigating other politicians saying with the 139 days before the elections, they need to tell and convince people why they should vote for the UTM.
“I know we are all angry with what was said by MCP, but let’s tame our anger. Let us tell people about our good policies that will make their life better when they vote for us in few months time. Izo zamveka and I am sure amva amenewo, lets concentrate telling our facts to the people,” said Chilima.
The Vice President also condemned the brutal murder of a man with albinism – Yasin Kwenda Phiri in Nkhata Bay on New Year’s Eve in front of his young seven-year-old son.
“This is brutal and this is witchcraft at its best and for how long are we going to be talking about brutal murder of people with albinism? When I talk about this people think I want to score cheap political points but we need to protect all our people including those with albinism,” said Chilima.
Political commentators who spoke to Nyasa Times have welcomed the call for public debate for presidential hopefuls, saying democracy relies on the participation of the people and that no political leader should shrink from the chance to engage more fully with the public and to test their arguments in debate.
It will be interesting to see head-to-head meetings of Chilima and President Peter Mutharika and even the leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :