The People’s Party (PP) says it is considering withdrawing from Zodiak Broadcasting Station’s (ZBS) debates which promote Malawians’ right to ask major parties how they intend to address the challenges the country is facing if voted into power on May 20.
PP acting secretary general Paul Maulidi dropped the firebomb in an interview on Friday following the absence of its representative at ZBS Question Time in Mzuzu on Thursday.
Maulidi said PP missed the debate because of a communication breakdown with the party’s campaign director Ken Zikhale Ngóma.
But he said the party is disappointed that the brilliant idea to engage the electorate has become a platform for promoting the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
“We just had a breakdown in communication. Dr Zikhale Ngóma was supposed to attend the debate,” he said when asked about the no-show.
Ng’oma criticised ZBS for allegedly giving more time and seats to MCP during the running mates’ debate held in Lilongwe Saturday last week.
“The public debates are a great idea, but we have communicated to the organisers that we may consider reviewing our participation if they continue handling it as a platform to campaign for MCP,” he said.
ZBS managing director Gospel Kazako has been arguing that the debates are a non-partisan initiative to bridge the gap between “the candidates as job-seekers” closer to Malawians so that they can make an informed choice in the polling booth.
By skipping the debates, PP also put into question its willingness to subject its policies and development agenda to public scrutiny ahead of the first tripartite elections.
PP’s rebuff left the floor to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice-president Hetherwick Ntaba, United Democratic Front (UDF) deputy spokesperson Judith Ngwira and MCP’s Felix Jumbe.