By Patricia Mtungila, MEC Stringer
Expectations are high among voters in the Northern Region that the presidential running mate debate, which is being organised by media giant Zodiak and its partners on Tuesday in Mzuzu that it should provide tangible solutions to inject new life into the economy of the Northern Region, which politicians have described as the “dead North” due to lack of significant economic development initiatives.
Peter Mumba, governance chairperson for Mzuzu Civil Society (MCISON), an umbrella body of civil society organizations in the North said, it is unfortunate that the Region has been described by politicians as the dead North.
“We want to know from these running mates what are some of the measures that they should take to change this perception of the region as the dead North.
“We want to hear what the challenges that we are facing and what strategies they have to solve these problems,” Mumba said.
Panelists in the Mzuzu debate include Frank Mwenifumbo of the United Democratic Front (UDF), Michael Usi of United Transformation Movement (UTM) and Mohammed Sidik Mia of Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
Mumba, however, punched holes into the MCP manifesto which promises to revamp and upgrade all airports to international standards and aerodromes to connect all strategic tourist destinations including; Likoma, Mzuzu, Chelinda Camp in Nyika Plateau, Karonga and Chitipa.
“The small airport in Mzuzu is not even in use and now we are aiming for a big airport. When are these people going to do this? First let them develop the road network before they focus on airports for tourism,” he said.
But speaking to the media earlier this week, the debate’s organizing committee chairperson, Raymond Likambale said people in the region should expect an exciting debate, which is planned to start at exactly 6pm at the Grand Palace Hotel.