Zodiak engages Malawi parties on electoral process: To cover live rallies

Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS), which claims to be the leader in radio in Malawi, held a workshop for political parties last  Thursday in Lilongwe to engender the parties to expectations of the radio station, and also provide a way forward on how the two, can work together.

The participating parties were the ruling People’s Party (PP), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), United Democratic Front (UDF), Alliance for Democracy (AFORD), and People’s Progressive Movement (PPM)and Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

The unprecedented interface saw the parties committing themselves that days of politics of castigations are gone.

“Malawians are watching us and all they want is hope. What will we offer to them and not attacking personalities,” said Dausi of DPP.

Zodiak courts parties on issue based campaign: From left to right- UDF spokesman Ken Ndanga, Zodaik boss Gospel Kadzako, MCP spokesperson Dr Jessie Kabwila, Aford spokesman Dan Msowoya and Zodiak editor Pilirani Phiri

Zodiak courts parties on issue based campaign: From left to right- UDF spokesman Ken Ndanga, Zodaik boss Gospel Kadzako, MCP spokesperson Dr Jessie Kabwila, Aford spokesman Dan Msowoya and Zodiak editor Pilirani Phiri

“It’s high time we started participating politics of integrity and be assured that we will make the forth coming campaign issue and policy based,” he added.

The meeting raised challenges which the political parties face when accessing ZBS and also the challenges that  the radio encounter when seeking to contact the parties.

“Sometimes it is difficult to get ZBS reporters to various meetings and the unfortunate thing is that much as other media houses are present but local people insist to first see a ZBS reporter before anything starts. So you should beef up your correspondents,” said Dr. Jessie Kabwira, MCP spokesperson.

ZBS Managing Director Gospel Kazako assured the party spokespersons that his radio which has listernership of 76 % according to a recent survey  by Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macar)   will offer equal coverage to all the political parties to help level the playing field.

“We don’t want to see a party winning because it monopolised coverage or losing because it had no platform to get its messages to the masses,” said Kazako.

“We are also in the process of discussing how we can be covering your political rallies live,” said Kazako, a suggestion that heavily welcomed by the parties.

He added: “We want to ensure that every party is given a chance to voice its agenda and that any party should either win or lose based on the information they give the voter.”

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi chapter was also represented by Suzgo Khunga, who spelled out the role of the media in the electoral process.

“Parties need the media and this is a very important relationship which should not be abused. The media’s role is to
transcend communication and information barriers.

“This can only happen when the media is considered as a partner and not a means to an end in an electoral process. We need your support. In a constructive manner tell us where you feel we are going wrong,” she added.

The interface, partly funded by Centre for Multiparty Democracy, also attracted various stakeholders.

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