Millions are set to tune in for a private broadcaster Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) this Thursday as it conduct a presidential running mates debate at Bingu International Convention Center in Lilongwe.
In an interview with Nyasa Times, commercial affairs and public relations director for ZBS Bridget Mkandawire said demand for tickets to attend the live debates at the venue has been overwhelming and many will miss out and only stay in tune to the live TV programme.
Mkandawire also said all media houses who would like to broadcast the debates live to be able to get a feed from the station “at no cost.”
She said all five running mates have confirmed their participation which include Everton Chimulirenji of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Sidik Mia of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Jerry Jana of People’s Party, Frank Mwenifumbo of United Democratic Front (UDF) and Micheal Usi of UTM.
The second debate after Thursday will be on March 14 at Comesa Hall in Blantyre .
“These are simple debates meant to get views on issues that affect and interest Malawians and all the panelists have confirmed their presence,” Mkandawire said.
“Dressing is formal as such no one will be allowed to put on party colours. We want people to ask issue-based questions and not personal attacks,” she said.
She therefore advised those who have accessed invitation cards to be sited in all the venues by 5:30 in the evening, saying there is a likelihood that all the venues will be packed and the debates are also slated to be starting at 6 o’clock.
The issues to be tabled during the debates include gender and women empowerment, health, agriculture, economy and mining among others.
Zodiak Broadcasting Station is the first radio station to have thought and organize running mates debates and that started in 2014.