DPP Mulanje West aspirant Yusuf Nthenda ducks debate
By Alfred Manjawira
Friday was Mulanje West constituency’s turn and day for aspirant MPs and councilors to participate on a Debate facilitated by National Initiative for civic education (NICE)at Namphungo village court in the district.
The debateallows constituents to ask questions and give recommendations on how they would want their leaders to handle issues that affect them once they are voted into power.
To the surprise of events out of all aspirants from different political parties , only one shadow MP running on DPP ticket Yusuf Nthenda as well as all DPP councilors did not show up despite receiving official invitation from NICE .
Speaking on behalf of NICE, one of the officials special for Mulanje district operations Michael Maenga expressed his shock over the development. Maenga further stressed that it is sad and disrespectful for candidates to abscond such debates considering that people of Mulanje were probably waiting on how the ruling party representatives would reply to their concerns.
“What mr Nthenda has done today is disrespectful , he has not honored both our invitation and the people of Mulanje. This was his chance to sell himself to the people and instill hope in them as a possible member of parliament but he did not show up.
“Much as any aspirant is at will to give an excuses , we feel disrespected on behalf of the people who ought to be informed so that they should make wise decisions when choosing a candidate, and this raises more questions especially when the candidate gives no reason,” Maenga expressed.
Speaking to the Debate facilitators when the chance was given , one of the residents of Namphungo Village Ruth Chikwala expressed her disappointment over the fact that the DPP candidate did not show up.
Chikwala continued to say that as a mother and voter she had felt down that the shadow MP avoided meeting his own people and probably giving answers to their concerns .
“From what has happened today , is it bad to say that we should not vote for those who did not show up? , If they can avoid meeting us this way , will they show up when they win?’’ asked Chikwala as the audience laughed.
The much awaited debate was participated by members of different political parties including UTMs Patricia Kaliati who reasoned with the audience by promising to continue the development in the area .
“We have worked together since 1999 and I have always stayed here with you while others only show up during campaign time. I always stay in this constituency with you. I will l not let you down and I will continue helping those who will lose the forthcoming elections as I have always done in the past,’’ said Kaliati .
Another candidate was UDF’s Bright Mafaiti who promised to do development differently and engage the people in decision making if he happens to win. The rest were Mr Samson Linkwa of MCP, Rachael Banda and John Sayini both standing on independent ticket.
Guests in attendance were chiefs as well as European Union envoy and was patronized by hundreds of people. NICE is said to be conducting national wide debates in order to sensitize and remind electorates about their role as voters and how to vote.