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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks 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

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
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 Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
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 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