UK, Zodiak launch ‘Question Time Malawi’: TV, radio political programme

With just three months left before Malawi conducts her first ever tripartite elections, the British High Commission in Malawi jointly with private owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) have come up with a new political and current affairs programme aimed at taking an issue based approach to the political discourse in the country.

The radio and television initiative, to be called Question Time Malawi, is a first for Malawi and Southern Africa and will be based along the lines of the popular British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) current affairs television programme “Question Time”.

In a media statement issued Monday and made available to Nyasa Times, Deputy Envoy for the British High Commission in Malawi, Kirk Hollingsworth said the issues based political and current affairs discussion/debate will 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).question time

However, the discussions will also have audience participation from other political parties who will debate, discuss and answer questions put to them by a moderator and an audience comprising members of the public.

The statement says the first Question Time Malawi event will be conducted exclusively in Chichewa and will take place Wednesday, 29 January, starting 18:00hours at the Cross Roads Hotel Auditorium in Lilongwe.

The theme for the first Question Time Malawi debate and discussion will centre on political parties visions and ideas for the development of Malawi, their commitments to Malawians if elected, and their national development priorities amongst other pertinent issues.

“Subsequent Question Time Malawi discussion topics will include education, youth and unemployment, agriculture and health, trade and investment and international and donor relations,” says Hollingsworth in the statement.

Subsequently, the programmes will be hosted and recorded for broadcast in Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzuzu and Zomba between January and April 2014.

Question Time Malawi will provide political parties’ representatives with a national platform to present their party’s vision, policies and development agenda for Malawi.

“The topics for discussion will cover a wide spectrum of topical issues that affect the everyday life of Malawians and are of particular relevance to the Malawi electorate,” says the statement.

The programme, to involve a series of five issue-based political debates in the country’s four cities, will provide a national platform for political parties to sell their manifestos, among other issues, to Malawian electorates ahead of the May 20 elections.

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