As the country is scrutinising the presidential running mates if they are capable of assuming leadership in the shortest time possible, private broadcaster Times TV will this Wednesday conduct a presidential running mates debate on the theme of disability rights.
Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi (Fedoma) has organised the running mates debate and invitations have been extended to five running mates 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 debate will take place at Times TV studios in Blantyre.
Sources at Times TV said messages and invitations have been sent to the running mates and only Mwenifumbo has sent apologies that he will not be able to make it as he is engaged with some matters of exigency.
Times TV said the debate is still on and the organisers will host the remaining four candidates.
The candidates will tackles issues that include Fedoma concerns that people with disabilities still face discrimination, exploitation and limited access to skills training.
The live TV debate is crucial as governance experts say the choice of running mates should be that can replace the president’s shortfalls with strengths when governing the country.
They argue that qualities Malawians should look for in a vice-president in the face of realities is that a deputy can eventually become State president as was the case with Joyce Banda after Bingu wa Mutharika died in office.
Another running mates debate is scheduled for March 14 at Comesa Hall in Blantyre organised by Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS).
Meanwhile, Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi is also organising debates for selected presidential hopefuls in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections to take place on March 29 and April 5.
National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust on the other hand is organising debates for parliamentary candidates and aspiring councillors in all constituencies and wards from April to May 10 this year to provide a platform for candidates to outline their manifestos to electorate thereby enabling them to make informed choices.
Recently, there were also debates on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).