Malawi ruling People’s Party (PP) did not send a representative at the live debate on Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) – Question Time Malawi – which was held at Mzuzu University on Thursday evening.
The British High Commission in Malawi jointly with private owned ZBS come up with the programme aimed at taking an issue based approach to the political discourse in the country.
The radio and television initiative is a first for Malawi and Southern Africa and is based along the lines of the popular British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) current affairs television programme “Question Time”.
The issues based political and current affairs discussion/debate only feature senior political representatives from the country’s four largest parliamentary parties- Malawi Congress (MCP) Democratic Progressive (DPP), People’s Party (PP) and United Democratic Front (UDF).
The first debate was held in Lilongwe followed by one at Chancellor College in Zomba but in Mzuzu the PP was no show.
ZBS said it had invited the PP and they confirmed they would send its representative Wakuda Kamanga who did not turn up. There was no PP official who stepped up to speak on behalf of the party on issues of health and agriculture which dominated the debate.
UDF was represented by its deputy spokeswoman Judith Ngwira who ably handled the debate, MCP had maverick Felix Jumbe and DPP had the ‘talking computer’ Dr Hetherwick Ntaba.
Ntaba who mostly received the wildest applause from the audience, was on his usual fluency and displaying his flair for the Queen’s language while giving specifics on how the DPP government will improve the health sector and improve agriculture economy.
The theme for the first Question Time Malawi debate and discussion centre on political party’s visions and ideas for the development of Malawi, their commitments to Malawians if elected, and their national development priorities amongst other pertinent issues.
The programme aims at providing a national platform for political parties to sell their manifestos, among other issues, to Malawian electorates ahead of the May 20 elections.