Uncertainty surrounds the Football Association of Malawi (Fam) polls presidential debate with just one week before the election slated for December 14 in Mangochi.
Private–owned ZBS had planned to conduct a public debate for Fam presidential candidates but details have emerged that the debate has been cancelled after incumbent Fam boss Walter Nyamilandu showed no greenlight to take part in the event.
The debate was supposed to be between Nyamilandu and his challenger James Mwenda ahead of the Fam polls.
ZBS Director of Programme and Special Events Joab Fank Chakhaza confirmed that he was not sure if the debate would take place.
“At the time we were sending the invitations, we had four people who expressed interest to take part in the Fam presidential race. But some of them accepted but others did not commit until now, so we are still waiting for them but we are more than ready,” he said.
Nyamilandu’s campaign spokesperson Kandani Ngwira said his boss did not receive any invitation.
“We did not receive any communication. I did not see any. And in any case, you can’t have a debate now when the elections are just next week. It would not make sense. Because candidates would need ample time to prepare for the debate. Unfortunately, there is no time because, right now, candidates are busy campaigning to the delegates to consolidate their positions,” Ngwira said in a written statement.
On his part, Mwenda said he got the invitation from the private owned station.
“I was willing to take part in the debate but suddenly there is no any communication ahead of the polls. If they still have the idea, I am ready to take part,” he said.
Although only 36 delegates are entitled to vote during the Fam election, others view that the public debate would have been a perfect opportunity to tell Malawians on what they intend to do to take football to another level.
Both Nyamilandu and Mwenda already unveiled their manifestos a head of the polls.
Nyamilandu launched his blueprint titled ‘Raising the Bar’ whereas Mwenda unveiled the ‘Rebirth of Football in Malawi (Four Pillars)’.
The association also released the final list for candidates for the polls. Jabber Alide and Daudi Mtathiko are contesting for the position of first vice president. Othaniel Hara and Lameck Khonje are eyeing the post of Fam 2nd vice president. Rashid Ntelera, Chimango Munthali, Madalitso Kuyera, Davis Sado, Masiya Nyasulu and Mohammed Selemani are contesting for the position of executive committee members.
Fellister Dossi is expected to be elected as female executive member unopposed after being the only woman to have secured a nomination.