By Solister Mogha, MANA
Aspiring Members of Parliament and Ward Councilors in Blantyre have commended National Initiative for Civil Education (NICE) for organizing political debates, saying they provide an opportunity to the electorates to analyse and choose the right candidates during the polls.
Speaking at Mdeka Primary School where the first out of six planned debates was held, Malawi Congress Party shadow councilor for Chikwembere Ward, Zephar Manyozo said despite holding the actual campaign rallies, the debates offer chance to voters to choose the person they think would meet their aspirations.
“During the debates, people focus on real issues and there is no way one would tell lies in the presence of other contestants. Every candidate strives to impress and that provides voters with a wide choice to make,” Manyozo said.
On his part, Matthews Siyani Jirani of Democratic Progress Party said during campaigns, people speak ill of others which is very rare in debates as everyone concentrates on matters of substance that would benefit the communities.
Jirani said the debate platform allows voters to choose the best person out of conviction.
NICE District Civic Education Officer for Blantyre Rural, Rose Simfukwe said the debates were organised for the community to listen to the candidate’s manifestos, after which they would make informed decisions for the forthcoming tripartite polls.
“People should choose leaders who they feel will bring development and provide everything they want in their area. The debates provide room to voters to know who is the right candidate and who they should vote for come May 21,” Simfukwe said.
However, Simfukwe said NICE would have liked to have as many debates as possible but that inadequate resources was a setback to such ambitions.
“We would like to appeal to the general public to assist us with financial resources so that we can have as many debates as possible,” Simfukwe appealed.
Traditional Authority Chigaru who was in attendance during the debate saluted NICE for providing a platform where all candidates would meet at one place and share their manifestos.