Emptyn podiums after some debators shunned the event
Emptyn podiums after some debators shunned the event

The eagerly anticipated presidential debate involving four candidates of political parties with parliamentary representation failed to take off Tuesday evening at the Pamodzi Hotel after UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema and PF’s Edgar Lungu opted out.

The debate which was due to start at 19 Hours attracted an impressively large crowd of people comprising dignitaries, senior citizens, NGO leaders and several students.

It however failed to take off after Mr Lungu communicated to the organisers, the Economics Association of Zambia of his unavailability at the eleventh hour.

This was after the four parties, the PF, MMD, UPND and FDD had signed an agreement committing their respective presidential candidates to participating in the debate.

Trouble started earlier in the day when NAREP President Elias Chipimo threatened to drag the Electoral Commission of Zambia to court if he is not included on the list of debaters.

In a letter to ECZ, Mr Chipimo contended that by allowing the EAZ debate without all the eleven candidates, the Commission was giving undue advantage to the four selected parties ahead of the election.

But the Commission after through consultations with ZNBC and its Chairperson Justice Irene Mambilima resolved that the debate should proceed as scheduled and will be later aired on ZNBC as a recorded broadcast.

Around 18:30, advance parties of three candidates namely Mr Hichilema, Dr Nevers Mumba and Edith Nawakwi had arrived at the hotel and were receiving some briefings from the organisers as the audience was filling up the auditorium.

Mr Hichilema’s team immediately stormed out of the briefing room after they learnt that Mr Lungu was not available saying Mr Hichilema was only interested in taking part in the debate because he wanted to take on the PF presidential candidate.

A few minutes after 19 Hours, Mr Hichilema’s team led by his campaign manager Dipak Patel were seen driving out of the hotel much to the disappointment of the people that were privy to the behind the scene happenings.

As time raced on, debate moderator Kunda Mando was at pains to explain the delays to the audience that was now growing impatient.

Shortly afterwards, Dr Mumba held an impromptu news briefing outside the entrance to the hotel where he announced that he was not proceeding with the debate after he learnt that Mr Hichilema had equally pulled out at the last minute.

Dr Mumba said the agreement was that the debate could happen if at least three of the four candidates were present adding that it is surprising that Mr Hichilema had pulled out after learning that Mr Lungu was unavailable.

‘To all those that are aspiring to lead this country, my encouragement is that it is important for us to use such opportunities like our friends in other countries do to allow the public to critique us, listen to us speak to issues off the cuff, that is important to the Zambian people to be able to assess the type of leadership that Zambia needs moving forward in this new generation and i think debates are the usual things,’ Dr Mumba stated.

He continued, ‘So we are deeply disappointed that some of our colleagues grew cold feet in dealing with matters that are going to help Zambians make a decision on the 20th of January but we came here to be able to present ourselves and to explain to the Zambian people what we have in store for them, they are not here and I feel terrible that EAZ has worked so hard and this thing has not worked for them. I do hope that we will fly back to Lusaka and do a programme, so I hope it works.’

‘There was an agreement that the four of us or at least three of us to slag it and we wanted everybody to be there. The arrangement was for the four political parties and we don’t want to short circuit it.’

The MMD leader added, ‘This is very disturbing, we had to fly down here, charter a plane from Kalaba to be able to do this national programme and the seriousness should be attached by all candidates and it is showing some signs that probably they don’t want to face the Zambian people in this set up where they can be challenged directly by the Zambian people.’
He said it is one thing to address a rally and speak to people and they are not asking you questions but that it is a nerve wrecking event to have them ask questions.

‘If you say you are going to provide free education, they want to find out how you are going to do it and where you are going to get the money. We have had situations in this country where a politician has cheated his way to State House because nobody could question how they were going to do the 90 day promises, that is why you the media want to hear us and ask us the questions now. It would be a great opportunity and i hope our colleagues would come back to do it.’

And Ms Nawakwi said she was taken by surprise that the debate failed to take place because of one or two candidate’s absence.

‘We are taken by surprise. It is not the first time a debate has taken place of presidential candidates excluding one or two candidates. You may recall that in 2008, 2011 the late President Sata did not appear on the set and I recall that we had a debate at ZNBC itself and I think President Hichilema was not on that set,’ Ms Nawakwi said.

She added, ‘We cannot depend on ZNBC as if ZNBC was the country. It is always very disappointing that as politicians we don’t take recognizance of the hard work of the men and women in the other print and electronic media. I think it is grossly unfair to belittle the effort of our brothers and sisters in other media houses, everybody has a role and they ought to be respected for their input.

Meanwhile, EAZ President Isaac Ngoma said he was disappointed that the debate failed to take place.

‘I am probably the most disappointed man in this country at this moment. The debate is being postponed, not cancelled because we still have firm commitments from the MMD, FDD and the UPND and we got apologies and commitments from the PF so we have to go round this,’ Mr Ngoma said.

He added, ‘Much as we have spent a lot of money as EAZ and we don’t expect to get a reimbursement from our dear partners Pamodzi Hotel, I believe we are going to sort this thing with ZNBC because there are legal implications and there is a commitment, there is a payment made and they have to do that which was paid for. I would like to apologise for what has taken place, it is not like the EAZ did not do every possible, we did everything that is humanely possible to try and ensure the success of this event.’

‘We hope that by tomorrow mid day we are going to re-establish the way forward and communicate through the media as to when this event can be held. All the candidates have committed that they will be able to make it at short notice. They have to make up. They have to be some point of restitution.’

Dr Nevers Mumba consulting with Ms Nawakwi before leaving  the hotel
Dr Nevers Mumba consulting with Ms Nawakwi before leaving the hotel
FDD leader Edith Nawakwi who offered to debate alone takes   the podium
FDD leader Edith Nawakwi who offered to debate alone takes the podium
Moderator Kunda Mando explaining the delays in starting   the debate that never happened
Moderator Kunda Mando explaining the delays in starting the debate that never happened
Part of the audience that gathered to listen to the debate   that never was
Part of the audience that gathered to listen to the debate that never was
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138 COMMENTS

  1. The Lungu candidacy is the shortest on the campaign trail. This is while opponents have been on the ground for 4 consecutive elections campaigning without pose. EL would therefore be making the gravest mistake to deviate himself from the campaign trail for a debate. Do some comparative politics with cost benefit analysis here as far as reaching out to voters is concerned. I wholly support this decision.

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    • PF as a whole can not debate any issues because they know that people will ask them questions they do not have answers to.

      HH has been appearing on TV interviews even when the late Sata refused to do so. Lungu was also invited for an interview he refused to attend.

      RB should ask Lungu his favourite candidate ayopa chaani?

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    • I knew this from the beginning, who would think that lungu can debate thats a joke and lusaka times its not Mr Hichilema who chickened out, its Lungu. The man has no respect for any one and he thinks what he does is best for business no wonder he s been out of the country without informing anyone. All of us know that the battle here is between HH and Lungu though Lungu has lost from the look of things. The chipimo MMD and FDD camps knows this. So these heavy weights were suppose to meet period for debate.

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    • I too, support Lungu excusing himself. I concur with all your reasoning. It’s ridiculous for HH to try and pressure Lungu, when he has been spinning around the country for a while now. All the time Lungu has been dealing with hostilities.

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    • Senior Citizen and Patriot abroad, I fail to understand your reasoning. This debate would have been an excellent platform for Lungu as well to sell himself because it was going to be shown on ZNBC which covers most of Zambia and would have catered for areas he may not be able to have rallies in. The debate forms part of the campaign does it not? In my opinion he is just running away from talking real issues because the other guys would have torn him apart over the copy-cat promises he keeps making. Do you know that he spent 90% of his Mpulungu rally denouncing GBM? Are those the kind of issues you want him to articulate? Would you not want to hear the intellectual side of Lungu? Zambian people are sharper now and they will attend rallies to listen to real issues.

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    • Useless debate !! Glad Lungu saw through it. Why wasting time on a debate that can only be watched by a few Zambians with access to ZNBC and Muvi Tv at the expense of Zambians in Mpulungu and Kaputa that have never had a chance to even see how Lungu looks like? We already have the urban vote so it is wise that we continue chasing the urban vote.

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    • Wanted to say “Useless debate !! Glad Lungu saw through it. Why wasting time on a debate that can only be watched by a few Zambians with access to ZNBC and Muvi Tv at the expense of Zambians in Mpulungu and Kaputa that have never had a chance to even see how Lungu looks like? We already have the urban vote so it is wise that we continue chasing the rural vote.”

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    • We need to raise standards for candidature in Zambia, we cannot allow this nonsense. Clearly Lungu had cold feet, he knew he was setting himself on fire by standing on that podium.. i guess its a national problem, and this demonstrates that the biggest votes come from the uneducated and poor people who have no idea on economical issues and only survive on the beacon of hope which is, being given promises..Had most of the votes come from the literate, he wouldn’t DARE miss that debate, he would be do or die…i cry for Zambia…and surprisingly, Lungu will be in power..

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    • Emmanuel Mwamba aka Katondo Boys, give us an explanation why Kaminamisa Lungu chickened out of the debate

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    • HH knows his MAIN CONTENDER. How do you EXPECT HIM to debate with NM or EN.

      We will FOLLOW Lungu wherever he is AND will bring him down. We will skin him ALIVE POLITICALLY and he will be burried in the kernel of Zambian History.

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    • Ba Mo Taim, I don’t think anyone said the debate was to take place over a period of twenty days. it was going to be two hours at the most and HH and Mumba traveled from where they were campaigning from because they had made a commitment and like professionals they wanted to fulfill that commitment. What makes Lungu so special? He could not fly out for a few hours and then go back? That is extremely shallow reasoning and only shows the equally shallow calibre of your visionless Lungu.

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    • Indeed, all incumbent presidential candidates in Africa chicken away from live debates because they cannot explain their failures. They d rather use the party structures consisting of course of a few people that have benefited directly to convince as many people as possible to vote for them. A debate is too risky for them. I am not surprised FF chickened out. Kudos to HH for pulling out. It’s Lungu he we anted to debate with.

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    • [email protected]
      I find it insulting to say that most people who voted for the PF are uneducated and poor and have no idea on economical issues. Are you in any way suggesting that most people in Lusaka, Copperbelt, Luapula, Northern and some parts of Western province are uneducated and poor? Or that most people in southern, Eastern, North western and some parts of western province who did not vote for the PF are educated and Rich?
      The debate is viewed as part of the campaigns, so if the PF feel that they can get more votes at a rally in Mpulungu than at a debate in Lusaka, they are within their rights to choose to be in Mpulungu than to waste their time and money to come to a debate.
      Before criticising try to put yourself in Lungu’s position and see if you could have done the opposite.

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    • In fact, the correct way to do it is for the FF candidate to have separate debates against each of the opposition candidates so they can tell the voters why they are better than PF and vice versa.

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    • Lungu is busy and I don’t think he has enough time left on his clock for the campaigns. He has 3 rallies scheduled for today.

      2015 vote PF ( Edgar )

      I thank you

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    • The organisers are also a joke, make your podiums the same.
      By giving the FDD a different podium, the organisers are telling the viewers that FDD has a different candidate. That is discrimination on the basis of gender.

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    • In my opinion, the staging of presidential debates has been rushed without clear parameters or rules. In countries where debates are held, it takes several months to agree a format, who takes part and the topics to be debated. This EAZ debate was ill conceived as can be seen from HH’s reaction; he went there with the intention of attacking EL amd PF’s policies only. In this regard, he wanted to use both EN and NM to gang up on EL. The three of them were thus not going to be questioned on their campaign promises – it was not going to be a debate, rather it was an ambush in which EL would have spent all evening defending himself rather than providing a platform that allows for cross examination of each candidate and their party’s policies.

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    • [email protected]
      I totally agree with you. It appears the HH team spent the whole day scheming on how to fry Edgar Lungu for dinner and nothing else.
      It could actually be possible that this debate was financed by HH’ s team, don’t forget he is a member.
      Edgar Lungu has once again beaten his opponents to the line by reading the situation very well. Lungu is smarter than most people think.

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    • Typical, Shows how dull we all Zambians are if we vote for PF. They are a party of confusion and will never change.

      Zambia is still behind. unfortunately HH also made a mistake, they would have continued and cleaned PF on the podium.

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    • Its unthinkable to expect Lungu to debate with the likes of HH, Nawakwi and Mumba. The man has a weak brain. This is the guy who failed to speak in church when invited to say hi to congregants.

      In a normal society Lungu cannot even make a manager in an organization, and that is the guy running for President in a country called Zambia. What a shame!

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    • What HH should have done is demand that the debate roll on with or without Lungu. He should have demanded that an empty chair or podium with Lungu’s name tag be placed in front and that the moderator ask this empty chair/podium the same questions that the other candidates were asked. If ZNBC runs away, just tape the debate with your own camera’s and put that thing on YouTube and MuviTV. Lungu would have been embarrased and would have lost this election right there. He would have become the laughing stalk of the nation. Every newspaper in Zambia today would have shown the empty chair/Podium as a simbol of Lungu’s empty head and ampty vision. Thats how you play hardball politics and Depak should ensure that this is in the contract for the next debate. Time is money & peoples time was…

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    • The others are too small for HH. Moreover PF is the party in power and thats why HH wanted to hammer Lungu. What can Nawakwi and Mumba debate with HH?

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    • Ask them… Both are not good public speakers, they are used, kano fye ama speeches written by someone else! Nawakwi was going to take them both down.

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    • BECAUSE EL IS A COPY CAT OF HH

      ME TOO SYNDROME IS WHAT EL HAS

      A DEBATE WILL BRING OUT THE DIFFERENCE

      VIVA HH 2015

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    • Chipimo doesn’t even have a parliamentary representation then why protest? He does not even campaign in rural areas but lusaka only and thinks he can become a president. Hes a time waster!

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    • The debate can take place even in the absence of heavy-weight candidates. The fact is such debates are purely academic and public-speaking practical stunts. The majority rural, urban, humble and ordinary voters without access to TVs have already made up their minds on preferred candidate for State House 3 weeks from today.

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    • Why didn’t Mumba and Nawakwi go àhead with the debate? Well because it is useless. The whole idea is to get PF to explain why they should continue in office. M

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    • @me you really don’t understand what a debate is. All the opposition parties are on one side. They don’t want Lungu to be President come January. 21 st. They needed Lungu on the other side to explain why he should and he chickened out. So he lost the debate. In soccer they give free points to team that showed up. In this case the opposition won the debate. Lungu shouldn’t be president come Jan 21.

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    • HH’s rival is Green Party. he has 9.81% voters in Zambia, maybe now it will twice that figure for he has tried to work hard

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    • Good question; Why does HH want to only debate with Lungu? Dose he and UNDP understand the purpose and significance of this debate or are they also trying to escape questions from the public they know will either expose them or have no answers?

      I agree with [email protected]

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    • HH has comparative and personality politics. when Sata won elections he vowed to imitate satas campaign style to exert the same pressure Sata had on MMD. that did not take him far. he is not targeting Lungu because it is not Lungu who will make the party win elections but its policies. he must attack PF policies and explain its weakness to voters.

      You cant ask Lungu to attend to capitalise on Lungu’s speech brevity. HH pretends to be fluent but that does not make him intelligent. he can only speak more words which do not add up to sense.

      Have you wondered where Cornelius Mweetwa is? he is quiet because he is not happy with the influx of opportunists hiding in endorsement since they will displace genuine UPND members

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    • I can only see frustrated carders commenting here. We know that realistically speaking Chipimo and Nawakwi are good public speakers and have a point for the Zambians but most of you guys you work with ukwalola umwela eko walola. you have been paid to make comments here which can not even be substantiated . work up poor Zambians. El and HH Supporters tell me what they will do for you. so far i have not heard anything from them. no wonder they cant face people.

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    • Did Cornellius tell you this my brother? Do not speculate anyhow please, that just entails dullness and a non-anlytical mind. Unlike PF, UPND has a structure in place and everyone in that structure know what they are supposed to do. I do not think Cornelius is obligated to announce what he is doing because right now everyone’s job in the UPND is to ensure HH gets elected, waumfwa mwaiche Kanyela?

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  2. The cause of the failure of this debate was one Lungu. I am not sure why Lungu is scared to face other candidates in a debate. Its luck of data, we know that. Ba Mumba naimwe don’t blame HH. What can HH tell Mumba or Nawakwi? HH wanted to take on the clueless Lungu as they are the party in power.
    On the other hand why was ka Chipimo protesting? This guy overrates himself too much. It was reported that only presidential candidates with parliamentary representation were invited to the debate. Iwe ka Chipimo, you’re a baby. You don’t belong the “LIGUE DES CHANPIONS”.

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    • It is HH who over rates himself. He has come up with a number of lies and hopes he can dupe the Zambians. Lungu is on firm ground. He does not lie and he know what is possible and what not. You cannot debate with a liar in public

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    • Debate is not about telling one person, but persuading the public of what you stand for. HH has squandered an opportunity to present himself to the electorate.

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    • If HH is really serious he could have gone ahead with the debate . This could have been his opportunity to show what he is made of.

      That guy over rates himself for nothing.Typical under five !

      He is scared of the Freemason questions.

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  3. HH did the right thing. The main opponent is Edgar Mee-too Lungu. Better give him some time to gather some balls. We really want to hear what he has to tell us after the last three disastrous years of PF in government.

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  4. In my opinion, these must be set immediately after the filing on date to avoid disruption of the campaign schedule.

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    • Or on the very last day before the Elections, to give people a last reflection on the mandates they can vote for.

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    • @Wanzelu- My comment has nothing to do with that. I have no evidence that he is a drunkard because I have never shared a drink with him nor have I ever heard he missed ministerial duty due to drunkeness. Look, in Lungu’s roles as a minister, I think he performed relatively well. Will I vote for him, that is for me to decide.

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    • Lord Voldemort (The Dark Lord)@7.3
      Just on the last sentence. I have already decided to vote for Edgar C. Lungu.
      The UPND keep saying only the uneducated will vote for Lungu, I can safely say am very much educated and a resident of Lusaka’s Chalala area. A registered voter at chilenge south high school.

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  5. The only one that chickened out is LUNGU

    WHY SHOULD PF HHUMILIATE THEIR COLLEGUES BY NOT AIRING A PROGRAMME OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE ON ZNBC

    COWARDS WITH NO VISION = PF + EDGAR LUNGU

    PF MUST GO

    VIVA HH 2015

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    • Be sober, Nawakwi and Mumba showed up! So be objective and quit being blinded by tribalism. Being Tonga won’t take you anywhere!

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  6. Not worth to have it without one of the two real contenders. This kind of debate is about hamering outwitting the other two real contestant, not imaginary like NM and EN. It is all about HH and EL and without any one these two, the debate is not worth it. HH was therefore perfectly correct to shun it in the absence of EL who developed cold fit.

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  7. After loosing so much time on arguments in the city of Lusaka and Kabwe, while your friends are all over the country campaigning, one wouldn’t be surprised why the PF presidential candidate, Mr. E.C. Lungu chose to be in Mpulungu instead: surrounded by people that know how to show appreciations.

    Mpulungu, thank you for demonstrating your true love for Mr. Lungu.

    No matter how much some people try to distract the Zambian attention from your powerful rally, or not show the pictures, it won’t go away.
    You’re here to stay in the hearts of majority Zambians who appreciate good people.

    You’re my number one!

    God bless you all.

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    • Because the debate can not win more votes than a rally in Mpulungu.
      A vote by a person in Mpulungu is worth the same with a vote by a person in Lusaka.
      A vote by an uneducated person is worth the same as that of a Professor.

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  8. if edgar fails to appear and you pull out,what does that mean?did you go there to debate about lungu or you went to tell the zambian people what you are going to do for them incase or by mistake you are voted into power.come on,edgars programes are not your programes.see edgar has somewhere to point at,the developmental progremes that are going on through out zambia foristance constructing of universities,schools etc.vote lungu

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    • it is not to debate about, but to debate with
      please don’t miss the difference

      only when you meet face to face can you challenge each other and the truth comes out

      THAT IS WHAT EL IS SCARED OF BECAUSE OF HIS LACK OF VISION

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    • what development projects??????????
      Started by MMD enhanced by PF. At what cost? what is Zambia’s debt before and now? These are the topics at hand

      What are the costs of these contracts? unreasonably high. People especially consultants are getting free money at the expense of the ordinary Zambian

      Why have 10,000Km of roads paved when you fail to afford mealie meal, fuel, sugar, education, health care and cement????????

      Where are the medical doctors in our local clinics?????

      Why are transport costs so high for the average person????????/

      How can the kwacha be at K6,40 to the $1???????

      THIS IS THE TOTPIC AT HAND.
      PEOPLE DON’T EAT ROADS

      THERE HAS TO BE A BALANCE

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  9. the debate was a good idea. however, one has to analyze whether you will get more votes from the debate or from campaigning.
    if its true HH withdrew because Lungu was not withdrew earlier, it shows why HH will never rule Zambia. HH needs to communicate to the voters, and not to show superiority over lungu on matters of the economy,in which he claims to be the only genius in zambia. a government is a group of people and not one only. i doubt whether mwanawasa would have debated adequately on the economy , but he choose mangande who i think performed very well.
    leaving because lungu is not there is the ‘arrogance’ always associated with HH. what does that mean to other debaters?

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    • HH withdrew because ZNBC decided to leave when it was communicated that Lungu had chickened out. So why debate when it won’t be shown on TV since this debate was for the benefit of us the masses? Lungu is a visionless dishonest and unhealthy drunkard and this is the chap most of you want to lead this great nation. He has already shown that he cannot be trusted by sneaking out the country without permission from his boss while his team here lied about his whereabouts and you still support this? Do we not aim to raise our standards as a country? It truly baffles the mind mwandi I will not lie.

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    • @Fr Bwalya you are a Pf die hard bent to criticize HH at the slightest opportunity .Zambians know that the front runners are Lungu and HH full stop.HH knows that a real debate can only take place when him and Lungu are standing side by side answering the same questions ,this then forms the basis of comparing the two.This is the only Zambians will see a difference between the two.So HH had the right to boycott,so that Lungu shows up the next time when such a debate is called.HH is smart its share waste of time to debate with NM and EN.VIVA HH VIVA ZAMBIA UNITED.

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  10. EL should not waste his time on debates which add little value to his campaign. Remember EL speaks from a known position and he understands what is possible and what is not. The rest, especially HH, are just hallucinating. Opposition leaders just want to say what the people want to hear and not what is possible.

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  11. EAZ, thanks for organizing the debate though chakolwa grew cold feet. Don’t give up, these candidates have a commited themselves to a live debate, it must take place. Reschedule for next week. Like HH i am not interested in non-factors, NM, EN, EC, Brg. Miyanda, D. Pule, but in Kamina Misa who has vowed to push ahead the dead thug’s violent legacy.

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  12. Frankly, Lungu has to work flat until last day of campaigns.

    Why do opposition parties act like foot stomping children? They all could have gone ahead. It would have left a bigger impression on the voters and Lungu’s absence would have been very conspicuous by its absence!

    HH, has a serious character flaw. Why walk away? He could have stayed. How rude was walking away like that!

    As for Mumba, why talk so much off the debat stage, when he could have stayed behind to grapple with Nawakwi?

    Only Lungu was honest.

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    • In any case Lungu is a lawyer. We know he must be able to debate! Mooting your case is part of the training. Besides we get a financial health statement from Chikwanda today on PF’s Economic performance and we will get the bigger picture on the real success of PF.

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  13. HH, it is not right for you to conclude that your only opponent is Edgar. These other two guys are actually subtracting from your potential vote as well and this would have been an opportunity to browbeat them once and for all.
    On the whole, you have shown a lot of disrespect for the other candidates who showed up.
    EAZ, do something about the podiums. They have to be uniform. These seemingly ‘little’ matters do matter in such debates; the platform has to be even…

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  14. Let the likes of Chipimo debate. I guess Chipimo would debate far better than EL and HH.

    How mocking that the best at debating has no followers.

    So it is a waste of time. If I were lungu or hh I would send bashi nono or mutati respectively to represent me while I speak directly to the voters.

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    • All you bloggers are ignorant .The debate was cancelled by Paul Katema the minister of Information ,who went on to threaten the ZNBC board that it will be dissolved,If it went with covering of the live debate.Its not HH no.HH cancelled his campaigns to attent the event.Hh smart without coverage and Lungu there the debate is irrerevant.Who is Lungu to hold HH at ramsom.

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  15. I m really disapointed with UPND’s leader for not going ahead with tye debatee and yet Dr. Mumba and Madam Edith Nawakwi were there.

    The debate was not about to show off or embarrass Hon. Lungu bot to explain to the Zambian people what UPND must do for the Zambian people.

    UPND has been campaigning from the day the election day was announced and I know for a fact that PF has seen either the strength or weakness of the UPND and hence the PF starting with areas UPND started with to destroy UPND’s message and the time PF will be finishing its campaign tours UPND will have been finished mark my words.

    Mind you PF is in power and more MPs who are working quietly and PF has done alot of projects which everyone is eble to see and those are projects which the MPs are pointing at…

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    • You will most likely make a good lawyer, good luck in your studies.
      In me, you have a potential client as i will be joining politics in 2020.

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  16. SOME OBSERVATIONS CAN BE MADE:
    1. WITHOUT EL EVERYTHING COMES TO A STAND STILL.
    2. HH CAN GAIN SOME POLITICAL MILAGE FROM THIS DEBATE, BUT EL CANNOT.
    3. EL CAN BENEFIT MORE BY CAMPAIGNING IN MBALA THAN DEBATING ON TV.
    4. IT IS ONLY LOGICAL THAT EL CHOOSES WHAT GAINS HIM MORE POINTS.
    5. EL HAS LITTLE TIME TO CAMPAIGN
    6. HOWEVER WE HAVE REACHED A STAGE IN ZAMBIA WHERE DEBATES MUST BE ENCOURAGED, SO MR LUNGU SHOULD NOT SHUN SUCH IMPORTANT MEETINGS
    7.ANYWAY, EL WILL STILL WIN THE PRESIDENCY OF ZAMBIA COME 20TH JANUARY 2015

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    • Baba you are not God.How is E L going this election give the data maybe by rigging.Keep on dreaming Muntu ni HH.HH is far away to yo ka Lungu.watch the space.

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    • SIDO MARK.
      Why call Honourable Edgar Chagwa Lungu MP. minister of defence/Justice and PF president “ka Lungu”.
      Can you also give data on how you believe president Hakainde Hichilema will win the elections?
      Bitterness will not take you anywhere.

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  17. All the information for Lungu to use in the debates is there as released by chikwanda on state of national Finances and Infrastructural projects

    on Governance he is a custodian He cannot fail to respond to any question especially being well prepared its timing and campaign schedule clearly behind by a week or two to do a round trip

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  18. This ka HH(tonga chap) is very rude ne chunsu kwati lishilu!why cant he debate with others?we as PF are not interested in those useless debates!Edgar Lungu did very well by refusing to attend!Our beloved Sata did the same so Bravo to EL!its better to campaign in rural zambia than waste time here in Lusaka where PF has already won!HH AND HIS TEAM WILL CRY VERY SOON BCOZ THEY OVER RATE THEMSELVES WHEN THE REALITY ON THE GROUND IS VERY MUCH IN FAVOUR OF PF!GO EDGAR LUNGU GO!”IFINTU NI LUNGU”!

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    • You (PF) simply have nothing to say to the people of Zambia other than insult and criticize others. That is why you do not see the importance of intellectual debates.

      PERIOD

      EDGAR C. LUNGU HAS NO VISION
      PF IS LOST AND SINKING

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    • @self expression that’s why you keep voting for magots(Embassy Park). because you don’t care who goes to state house.You can even vote for lice.This time around twala mimimona we are too smart for you,even rigging will not help you.HH will beet you pants down.

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    • Sorry I meant Eddy not self expression.Eddy mwaku la votela ne nda .Ka Lungu kalito beka kale. another Embassy park.

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    • eddy
      Why the tribal remark? It does not make sense even to call Mr. Hakainde Hichilema ” ka HH.
      I agree with you that he should have debated with the other candidates.
      Overrating oneself in a competition like this has disastrous consequences and HH can do well always to humble himself.

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  19. DEBATE WITH WHO?
    So Edgar ngatalipo bonse imwe muli bangwele.
    Go no and expose your brouhaha promises to Zambians who want to choose the PF successor to the Satas of this world. Keep on measuring the growth of your cows with the hands . Happy new year to you.

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    • Yes EL thinks he’s going to win the election without working for it, he thinks Sata did it for him, he thinks those who sacrificed with Sata will let him enjoy everything from their sweat & sacrifice…another thing coming for EL..thanks.

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  20. Mentally retarded humans!!! Do you understand what a debate is?? Did you thugs ever involved in school debated?? Honestly you want the opposition to debate alone?? Who is the main rival on this debate? Dander heads!!! Nor wonder you support thugs and that means you’re also thugs!! How do you support a person who is inconsistent in developmental issues??

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    • wise
      This debate was not a “We against Him”. It was each one for oneself, fighting for the same damn vote. The one vote that Lungu wants is the same one Hichilema, Mumba and Nawakwi wants.
      I guess by thugs you do not mean to say Edgar C. Lungu is a thug.
      If you say the PF have a thug in Willie Sanda, i will say the UPND have a thug in William Banda.
      Look yourself in the mirror before calling others names.

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  21. The biggest question I am asking myself is: Why is UPND’s Dipark Patel keeps issuing statements with regards to this much publicized Presidential Debate? Why are the media statements not coming from Economics Association of Zambia? Since when did EAZ became UPND? Or rather put it, since when did UPND became a media wing for EAZ?
    These are candid questions that needs clear explanation from EAZ. Edgar did a great job not to participate, the voters are those who are in rural Zambia and have less or no access to TV. TV in Zambia is mostly accessed along the line of rail and the wide population of Zambia is outside the line of rail. Kudos Lungu for staying away!!

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    • Some things are straight forward.

      Dipak Patel is speaking on behalf of his candidate not EAZ.

      This is image building, something new to Zambian politics just like debates that PF don’t seem to want to embrace.

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  22. HH can’t debate unless Lungu is there kikiki what a leader.He should have sold himself to the pipo.Efintu ni Lungu.We don’t need a change of govt.I’ve never seen this development taking place in Zambia since 1991.PF is a govt of pipo.Look at how they reposed Zamtel and finance bank.UPND will sell Zambia.HH can’t be trusted otherwise there will too much tribalism in Zambia coz he came into politics through tribalism.He rids on tribalism.Viva EL president of all zambian.Bembas are supporting u.PF was not a bemba party unlike what UPND supporters thought bembas won’t let EL to lead PF.They are ashamed coz they are tribalists.PF is not a bemba party.U can see from Luapula,nothern,muchinga,cb,lsk,centra ,western Nw and southern province.Bonse ni bwatoooooo

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    • Read other comments to learn. It’s like you don’t know what a debate is. How can A person debate against themselves? In a debate there is a supporter and an opposer and a topic. In this case the topic was ‘ should PF continue in office after Jan 20th? So in your normal senses who was going to support this motion? PF of course and they were absent. Everyone else is opposing PF.

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  23. There is no time left for debates.I feel Edgar would do a disservice for himself and PF if he goes on debating without campaigning.The problem we have in Zambia is that we dont walk the talk.We belabour a lot on topics which add no value to our social fabric.Debates are suitable for developed countries because most of the voters in those countries are well informed.Debates in a country where education levels are low,is not worth it.

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  24. @Senior Citizen you really baffle me with your cockeyed thinking.

    The debate would have given Lungu a superb podium to market himself through ZNBC with nation-wide coverage to reach even places it is impossible for him to hold rallies and those sitting on the fence.

    Acrimoniously Lusaka Times tries to spin the s.h.i.t against HH by saying; EAZ PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES FLOPS AFTER LUNGU AND HH CHICKEN OUT

    We all know what happened. HH explained that he withdrew because Lungu whose IQ score is extremely low was not there. Lungu chickened out because he cannot engage in an intellectually-honest debate.

    Thank God Lungu chickened out because instead of explaining to the people how he will integrate socio-economic strategies into an organized and prioritised national plan of…

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    • action he would have been insulting HH, Nevers, Nawakwi and Chipimo like he did to Mwamba; typical kaponya!

      You really need a moron with a profound mental blockage to behave like Lungu.

      Lungu has proved to the Zambian people that he has an intellectual disability.

      Only an intellectually impaired person can chicken out from such an important debate.

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  25. Bravo el and hh. What are these debates for? Useless and a waste of time. Entertaining a few voters? The farmers and villagers without znbc tv signals can not listen to the debates. That is a circus show to fool some people and an attempt to salvage votes for Mumba and Nawakwi.
    All the 11 candidates must be included.
    Let them go out into the field and face the electorates. Wanting votes on a silver plate? Sweat first. Lungu should never allow himself to be subjected to ridicule and insults at such inferior gatherings of lower organisms. Lungu must be focused on reaching people everywhere in the rural areas. Equally the same with hh. Let the failures remain to entertain people in Lusaka. Nawakwi and Mumba are time wasters. The EAZ is the time waster. Engage ministers of finance first.

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  26. I find HH and Lungu arrogant time and money was spent on the preparations so its unfortunate for them to pull out at the last minute. As Zambians we must learn to respect each other and other peoples time. How do you intend to rule us with such pride and arrogancy before you even become Presidents. Humble yourselves.

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  27. action he would have been insulting HH, Nevers, Nawakwi and Chipimo like he did to Mwamba; typical kaponya!

    You really need a moron with a profound mental blockage to behave like Lungu.

    Lungu has proved to the Zambian people that he has an intellectual disability.

    Only an intellectually impaired person can chicken out from such an important debate.

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  28. ba UPND bamambala you want to create an impression here ati you are close HH. mulecita nokutumfya Lungu ati ajimba debate na HH kanshi na HH nao did not even intend to attend the stupid debate? Lungu looks cheap but he is not cheap to asked useless questions by useless economists! bushe ngamwaya mukutekesha ama rally te debate?

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  29. Pf and sata never held any press briefing for 3years now,and it is most likely that if Lungu who has pledged to follow Sata’s vision wins,there will be no press briefings in this country for the next 18 months. Lungu cannot debate anything,he is empty.

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    • Ka Lungu can not stand for two hours ,nga kalipona lol .kali tongoka ka lungu.Ati lawyer the one fearing debates.Lugu is a just a waste of time,its just a matter of time we shall have another state funeral.This time no foreign president will come to Zambia ,because we are so useless tribalists always choosing finished tribal criminal gang leaders as presidents.

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  30. The debate idea is the best thing that can happen to Zambian politics. To take it a step further, parliament should enact a law enshrining the concept in the Zambian constitution as a requirement for any presidential aspirant.

    There could be a total of 9 debates, one in each province, broad-casted on both radio and television and re-runs translated in local languages. Any candidate that chickens out from the debates would disqualified from running for office.

    Politicians must be held accountable for the promises they make and the things they say on the campaign trail. Time for making outrageous promises in the dark corners of Zambia are over. Democracy is about transparency and what better way to fact check the candidates manifestos than through debates?

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  31. I’m shocked at the levels of ignorance surrounding some bloggers on this forum. Don’t just support PF for the sake of it. Be issue-based.
    This debate should have highlighted the candidates’ views on important issues such as health,education, water and sanitation affection 90% of the innocent population which has evaded Zambia for long. Only yesterday,we had one PF leader legging it to SA for treatment for a blocked bladder-a simple 30 minutes procedure which can be undertaken at UTH! These are the people in power who can’t trust systems put in place by themselves and they run to other countries where political parties have got people with brains to put in good health care for their citizens. Humility,humility,yes put humility in power and continue dying like flies.

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  32. Kenya had such a DEBATE whn they ushered in Uhuru Kenyata. Whtas so WRONG with Zambia ?.

    and some bloggers here are saying you CATCHING UP RURLA voters BUT STILL you shuold ve found away of ATTENDING. ALL YOUR TACTICS CANT WIN U A VOTE.

    Either Vodka likes it OR NOT UPND is winning this election and WILL FIGHT TOOTH & NAIL and will not leave ANY STONE UNTURNED.

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    • Its unthinkable to expect Lungu to debate with the likes of HH, Nawakwi and Mumba. The man has a weak brain. This is the guy who failed to speak in church when invited to say hi to congregants.

      In a normal society Lungu cannot even make a manager in an organization, and that is the guy running for President in a country called Zambia. What a shame!

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  33. At times it’s difficult to appreciate why people are sooo ignorant. But when you flip the other side of the coin,you actually realise that people don’t know any better and the gloomy surroundings they live in has become normal and they have finally reached this ‘fatality’ mentality of its okey to continue suffering.
    The political leaders are also only happy to continue exploiting this mentality as they are greedy bastards. I am an advocated for better health and education. What you’ve to know is that you can go to SA for medical care,but when you’ve an acute severe illness requiring repatriation,no one will until you are stable. So politicians failure to improve health care in zambia eventually catches up and they die at home like a dog.

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  34. BA EAZ NEXT TIME CONTRACT MUVI TV. WE ALL KNOW THE ISSUES WITH ZNBC SO WHY DO YOU EVEN WORST TIME TALKING TO THEM. EMPOWER THE PRIVATE MEDIA AND EVENTUALLY ZNBC WILL BECOME IRRELEVANT. THE SAME HAS HAPPENED IN MANY COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD IT IS NOTHING NEW.

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  35. how would you espect lungu to debate at that time (19.00hrs) he was still nursing his hungover. poor zambians ba lungu sure @ presdo!

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  36. National attention please fellow zambians vote for a peson with the country at heart not one who is arrogant from the start and u think he is a hero i do not even have to mention names think of zambia as in yourself,brother,sister,mother.father,grand ma,grand pa,widows.widowers.the disadvanteged,street kids,retirees,ba nkwankwazi and most of all the health of the President to be do not vote a sick person for sickness leads to short temperedness.

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  37. yes the majority of pf supporters are uneducated and live on promises. no normal person can support pf. the party full of violence, visionless, lies can only be supported by insane persons who don’t know that 1 + 3=4

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  38. ECZ must put their act together than rushing to excite the public that you have arranged a presidential debate when not. What grantee did you put in place if and when one candidate chickens out?, what about the legitimate concern of Elias Chipimo Jr? ECZ must stop behaving like the failed governance of PF. Your LT media is even misleading the public that HH chickened out. ECZ need to censor and reprimand LT for misleading the your clients to the public.

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  39. EDGAR LUNGU has never done anything….I didn’t expect him to participate. Edgar Lungu knows nothing but drinking alcohol and violence. I can’t wait for 20th January so that we can chase this loser out of our lives. It is becoming boring reading about Edgar Lungu failing to do things he is supposed to do everyday.

    SECONDLY, by the way, LUSAKA TIMES be fair in your reporting. HH did not just opt out. HH left only after it was announced that ZNBC has withdrawn its cameras on orders from Edgar Lungu the s.h.i.t.t.y loser and the debate organisers could not find a media organisation to replace ZNBC at short notice.

    RUPIAH BANDA can endorse Edgar Lungu – who cares! It is like a f.o.o.l endorsing an .i.d.i.o.t.

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  40. This ‘s really a waste of time, you Lungu and HH are scared to face Nevers To discuss what there would want to do for this country, are there scared to stand on the same platform with a man of God, May be it’s true Lungu is meslum and HH is a satanist or there can’t march Nevers & Edith’ standards, this how we ended up with PResident Sata. Now I know that my vote will be cast on Nevers, Nevers you have my vote, those are wimps

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  41. “The last minute pull-out of ZNBC at the scheduled Presidential debate yesterday evening was a great shame. I had personally travelled back to Lusaka mid-campaign to attend and would like to thank the Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) for their efforts to coordinate this welcome initiative.
    We were ready to go ahead despite the non-attendance of Hon. Edgar Lungu who was signed up for the debate. However, when the ZNBC crews departed shortly before the scheduled start time, and no clear alternative for filming the debate for public viewing was available we regretfully withdrew.
    Hakainde Hichilema
    UPND President”
    Source: Hakainde Hichilema Facebook

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  42. Now, let’s legislate in the New Constitution, …. ‘a candidate must at least take part in a live televised debate before nominations and at least once before elections with other candidates’… we have to tighten the noose!!!!

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  43. The majority of voters in Zambia don’t have access to television, thereby rendering the debates merely elitist and academic.

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  44. Call him what you like but he likely to be your next president. Prepare the portraits for Edgar C. Lungu. 6th Republican President!

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  45. Unless they were just scared which I fully understand because this is personal, there is no need to have stayed away. I know leaders are used to telling people what to do but not to countering questions especially hot questions. HH should have stayed and participated precisely to have bashed Lungu for chickening away. On their part, organisers should have continued with the debate with Ms. Nawakwi and Nevers Mumba. The two were enough. Do not create the impression some leaders are more important than others. And this is not about those whose parties have representation in Parliament. All including those who contested should have been given equal opportunity to participate.

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  46. EL is smarter, he read the schemes UP N DOWN ganged up against him, Its clear HH only came to attack the PF President. Why shunning the event just because EL is not there? is Edgar hh`s twin brother? We know that Edgar doesn’t have enough time to do the campaigns. HH was campaigning while the PF had internal differences. Now Edgar has to source for funds and do the campaigns at the same time, in your honest opinion you think a debate would be the first priority before campaigns and sourcing for funds?

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  47. Bt why r u only shootin hon lungu down? Mr hichilema ws nowhere to b seen aswell.then again the organisers of the whole debate thin r mean,why inv8 only 4 candidates when there r 11 candidates,chipimo ws right on this 1

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  48. Keep your journalistic integrity LT!! But ZWD told us waaay before anyway. Shame on you LT!!!

    Lungu chickened out. Not Hichilema!

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  49. But there are ifisushi in this world as evidenced by anyone saying “He needed to be in Mpulungu”, “Why didn’t HH debate without Lungu”…”even HH wasn’t there”……..Ad nauseum.

    Mentally challenged ifisushi. And don’t tell me about your education credentials……you have no street(worldly smarts) and No common sense therefore tantamount to being uneducated. You are primitive, that’s the only way you can still say you are voting Lungu despite all the concerning behaviours he’s displayed.

    (Sit down Manweli, you’re not invited to speak with me)

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  50. Its unthinkable to expect Lungu to debate with the likes of HH, Nawakwi and Mumba. The man has a weak brain. This is the guy who failed to speak in church when invited to say hi to congregants.

    In a normal society Lungu cannot even make a manager in an organization, and that is the guy running for President in a country called Zambia. What a shame!

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  51. Now I believe that PF is full of dunderheads. A debate is between the RULING PARTY and the OPPOSITION! PILIZI tapapata. Ngati ba ruling party kulibe ninshi NO debate. So ba opposition ba wina. Ba PF bana thawa. Balibe vokamba. Maboza ya basilila.

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  52. Its my first and last to comment on this blog..some of you people are realy foolish! Was it up to HH to decide for the debate to go on or it was totaly up to the organisers to do as they wished?wats wrong wit you people?

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