New moderator for final Malawi presidential debates: Verbal punch-up likely

The final presidential debate Friday evening is expected to  have a new moderator  in Reverend Patrick Semphere who will replace Grace Malera as six out of eight candidates appearing on the ballot paper will tussle in the battle of minds.

Grace Malera her contract was for the first two series of the debates
Chakwera, Chilima and Muluzi could not help being entangled in several verbal flashpoints as they engaged one another in the first series of the debates for the  presidential candidates in the May polls

Human rights lawyer  Malera, a former executice secretary of Malawi Human Rights Commission, has been the host of two presidential debates  but organisers say  2014 presidential debates moderator, Reverend Semphere, returns for the final set.

Governance expert and political commentator Makhumbo Munthali said his expectation is that the aspirants will ably address the “how” question better in as far as addressing the issues of national concern.

“This has been lacking in the previous debates. It will also be critical to see these Presidential aspirants aligning their positions to the existing Malawi Growth and Development Strategy, African Union Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said.

Munthali said in terms of focus, it will be important that the presidential  candidates will need to “interogate each other’s positions “ on particular issues as articulated in each other’s respective manifestoes while at the same time “remain focused” on articulating their electoral pledges.

“ At the end of the day what Malawians want to see is which party is having better policy options on particular issues,” he said.

Many are prediticing that  some candidates will be in for verbal punch-up but another governance and political commentator Henry Chingaipe has advised the presidential candidates to cut down on arrogance in any form because people are looking for a humble, but firm and assertive leader.

He also asked them to remember their audience is not the moderator, but the voter who will not be in the room as such their language, pitch, content should target them.

The final presidential debate will have Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate Lazarus Chakwera, UTM Party’s Saulos Chilima, United Democratic Front’s (UDF) Atupele Muluzi, Professor John Chisi of Umodzi Party, Peter Kuwani of Mbakuwaku Movement for Development (MMD) and Reverend Kaliya, an independent candidate.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Peter Mutharika  continues to boycott the debates while Tikonze People’s Movement aspirant Cassim Chilumpha sent an apology.

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Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
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Hlabezulu Ngonoonda

Should it have been “verbal tirage”?

Ber
Guest

Ephraim Munthali my pick. A brilliant journalist.Well versed with issues..

Monjeza
Guest
Monjeza

Please consider using Brian Banda, Joab Chakhaza or George Kasakulaas the moderator. MISA is spoiling mood of the debate now.

Mirella K
Guest
Mirella K

Kasakula cannot moderate. I am sorry to say

NYABINGHE WARRIOUR
Guest
NYABINGHE WARRIOUR

ATUPERE SIKUTI UZIKALANKHURA TRASH YAKO IJA

manenoonon
Guest
manenoonon

I hope atupele will b where he belongs.greedy guy.he enjoys himself in govt while his party suffers.

BigMan
Guest
BigMan

Who is picking these useless moderators, all over the world people pick capable well known news anchors and journalists to moderate, whats wrong with the likes of Brian Banda?

These decisions have completely messed up the debates.

Victor
Guest
Victor

he is too political..someone must be neutral to enhance accountability nd transparency,ok?

CHIPYELERO
Guest
CHIPYELERO

Rev Semphere is not a good moderator either. Joab is much better

TAMALISHA
Guest
TAMALISHA

AAAAA BOLA JOAB PLZ

Gujarat
Guest
Gujarat

Very very useless moderators indeed. Setting low tone for the upcoming elections. Debates need to be lively and engaging. Not quizzing like kumaoneranso likasa. Very very dull.

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