News / Africa

Malawi Holds First Ever Debate for Presidential Running Mates

Malawi’s  presidential aspirant in the May 20 tripartite elections and head of Malawi's United Democratic Front (UDF) party Atupele Muluzi (C) speaks next to his running mate Godfrey Chapola (L) and a Malawi Electoral Commission official (R) to present his nomination papers to the Commission, Feb. 12, 2014,  Blantyre.
Malawi’s presidential aspirant in the May 20 tripartite elections and head of Malawi's United Democratic Front (UDF) party Atupele Muluzi (C) speaks next to his running mate Godfrey Chapola (L) and a Malawi Electoral Commission official (R) to present his nomination papers to the Commission, Feb. 12, 2014, Blantyre.
Lameck Masina
— Malawi has held the first-ever broadcast political debate among the running mates to the presidential candidates in the May 20 election.

Organized by the privately-owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station, the debate comprised running mates from the country’s major political parties.

They are Sosten Gwengwe from the ruling People’s Party, Richard Msowoya from the Malawi Congress Party, Godfrey Chapola from United Democratic Front and Saulos Chilima of the Democratic Progressive Party.

During the debate, conducted in the local language Chichewa, the candidates were asked how they would address various issues of national concern if voted into power.

Among the issues were agriculture, infrastructure development and homosexuality. One common area was how to address poverty facing Malawians. Current statistics show that 65 percent of Malawians are living below the poverty line of $2 per day.

A political scientist at Chancellor College of the University of Malawi, Ernest Thindwa, said he thinks the debates were a lost opportunity for the candidates.

He says it was sad they seemed not well prepared for the debate, which he says was of national interest.

“You could see from the discussions that perhaps the candidates were not as prepared as they should have been," he said. "There was no candidate that came up with an action plan. [For example] during the debate the candidates were asked ‘what is your party’s position on gay [homosexuality]’. None of the party came with a solution. Now we do not want to have a party which is not decided on an issue which citizens think it is important.”

Some Malawians say the debate was an indication that Malawi's democracy is maturing.

Gerald Chirwa, who lives in Ndirande Township in the commercial capital, Blantyre, said, "This has really been a very important debate in Malawi being the first one of its kind. It has assisted Malawians to understand the manifestos of various political parties.

The executive director for Zodiak Broadcasting, Gospel Kazako, said the station expects to host the country’s first presidential debate in the near future.

You May Like

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
March 10, 2014 4:33 AM
African politicians ought to learn how to articulate a question or an answer and present themselves with clarity and effectiveness.
Transparency and accountability should be the center of any political debate anywhere in Africa.

Politically Malawians are heading towards right direction! Congratulations!


by: Joe Chirwa from: Malawi
March 10, 2014 4:07 AM
This just proves how president Joyce Banda's government values free and fair media in Malawi. May we have many more of this nature until the day of elections arrive.


by: Nelson Muhondo from: Mwanza
March 09, 2014 2:08 PM
very good.they r shodow presidents.we need their ideologies.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid