Second round of debates set for 4 presidential pretenders: ‘Battle of ideas’

Four of the eight presidential candidates in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections  are Tuesday evening set to tussle in a second round televised debate at the main auditorium of Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe.

Chakwera, Chilima and Muluzi could not help being entangled in several verbal flashpoints as they engaged one another in the first of three-part debates for the eight presidential candidates in the May polls

The first round on Friday featured Atupele Muluzi of United Democratic Front (UDF), Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM’s Saulos Chilima.

On Tuesday the panelists will include John Chisi (Umodzi Party), Peter Kuwani (Mbakuwaku Movement for Development-MMD), Cassim Chilumpha (Tikonze People’s Movement) and Reverend Kaliya (independent).

The finals series will feature all presidential candidates. President Peter Mutharika of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is shunning the debates.

Chairperson of the organising task force Teresa Ndanga said they organise the presidential debates to level the playing field where one political party may dominate access to the media.

She said the debate also gives Malawians opportunity to hear, analyse and shape the country’s future.

“The debate provides unique opportunity for candidates to speak directly to voters and get their messages out. They also allow candidates to connect with independent and undecided voters who are less likely to attend a campaign rally,” she said.

According to Ndanga, the candidates were grouped to ensure quality as well as an opportunity for the candidates to have ample time to defend their policies and manifestos.

Governance expert and commentator Makhumbo Munthali told Nyasa Times that the televised debates are a “battle of ideas.”

Munthali said Chakwera, Chilima and Muluzi  debate on Friday was a good start.

“Generally, both UTM and MCP presidential candidates had relatively a good show. This can partly be attributed to the fact that they have already released their manifestoes, and their manifestoes had already policy positions on a number of questions which were asked including on farm input subsidy, corruption, quota system and others,” said Munthali.

However, Munthali  stressed that the leaders had a number of similar thoughts on how they would address issues such as corruption, quota system, shortage of drugs and worsening health system.

“Both Chakwera and Chilima demonstrated that they are ready to govern come May 2019,” he said.

Nevertheless, Munthali said all the candidates failed to convincingly articulate on how they would implement inclusive education as well as address maternal health issues.

“In terms of how they handled specific issues, Chakwera was spot on tackling the question of greenbelt initiative by starting to provide a political economy analysis of how politicians have used the initiative as an avenue of siphoning money from the public coffers to be used for political activities.

“This was an important starting point before we even analyse the initiative was yielding its intended aspirations or worthy supporting,” he said.

However, Munthali pointed out that it was Chilima who was able to ably build on this by clearly showing how he would make the Greenbelt initiative practically a success.

“For Chilima it was the issue of Corruption which –as always- he handled with much conviction and precision on how he would deal with it. Atupele had a good show on health- certainly because of the incumbency advantage.

“All in all, the three candidates had good responses on tobacco and diversification of crops, health financing where some candidates were even able to refer to the 15% Abuja declaration while others emphazing the need for improving nutrition from the home hence preventing diseases.”

The public has since called for several areas of improvement such as the host  should not take  more time to wind up questions.

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gringo
Guest
gringo

lets hear mfundo za mbakuwaku

Kapado Chimuthawirenji
Guest

One thing you must know is that the moderator is a Lawyer and not a journalist so don’t expect hard hitting questions. The other thing is that the moderator is inexperienced, so you need to excuse her. In all fairness she did well and I don’t want to have a replacement – that will be an embarrassment to her. We need women to take up challenging roles like she did.

Duncan
Guest

Chisi will stand for DPP for he is DPP

Njolo mpilu
Guest
Njolo mpilu

Many of of the so called team are expired therefore cant plan for anybodys future coz they have done with theirs. And they care less.
Now kwaio kwatsalatu ndi kumaliza looting and emblezzlement , and leave us jobless.
Amatilesa zionetselo as if they are big thinkers koma kuopa world ingaziwe zipanga io.
Full of bullshit government.

Frank
Guest

Please NAMISA give us a good meal. Bring in a different Moderator. We need a live debate!

We need a moderator who is conversant with politics and who can ask tough questions mostly on the HOW side of the questions.

For example, Atupele was not answering questions. He was left unchecked. Atupele’s response were more of a cxbinet minister than of a UDF presidentila candidate. Did you invite him as a DPP minister or UDF candidate?

Patricia
Guest

I second you Frank.

Kapado Chimuthawirenji
Guest

Wongani Chiuta, as a journalist you are not supposed to express your opinion on the candidates. Why do you call these candidates pretenders? This is demeaning them. Mind you, some of them can pull up a big surprise because a certain section of the people is tired of the same names year in year out – they want new players with new ideas. So, it is completely unacceptable to characterise them as pretender when you don’t know who is going to vote for who. The job of a journalist is to inform and take a neutral position.

Chingerezi
Guest
Chingerezi

Please check multiple meanings of ‘pretender’

Za zii
Guest
Za zii

Kapado, where did you go to school? ‘Pretender ‘ is another meaning for the word ‘aspirant ‘ . Consult your dictionary. For example, Prince Charles is pretender to the British throne.

Gang'a
Guest
Gang'a

Guys you can say all that to kapado but the selection of words by a journo and/or an editor has to be carefully contextual and reflective of the target masses. This is not meant for a linguist class, it is being exposed to all including the marginally educated ones. Lets be sober for once, I don’t support Amy of these guys and I’m not voting coz I’m away but one thing I know, even these ones deserve a leveled electoral platform coz someone may be moved by their positions and vote them in, they can at least significantly contribute numbers… Read more »

Isaac kazanga
Guest
Isaac kazanga

How I wish debators tackled the following: i) Youth unemplyment especially you unemplyment. Fristrated youth are dangerous. What will they do to reduce unemployment? ii) Should Young Pioneer bases be reopened inorder to mopup unemployed youth? iii) Since many doctors, nurses and teachers trained in our Universities are not being employed long after graduating, should Malawi close such colleges like College of Medicine and reopen them only after demand has arisen?

Dollon
Guest
Dollon

Nyapapi Chakwera ndi Arafat Hamdan goofed on quota system. They don’t understand it as w=equitable distribution of resources. What all said is not different from what DPP government is doing. The question was why an intelligent but disadvantaged lad from Chitipa Wenya should be discriminated against was not tackled. By the way, why did we cry to have a board that will look into national development? The answer lies in quota system, i.e., equitable distribution of development. Those who are blind can’t see the connection here.

Costly Gogoda Chisale
Guest
Costly Gogoda Chisale

Zako izo. You must be a DPP supporter to the core. Time is up!!!!

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