2014 Tutu Fellow Linda Kasonde's non-profit, Chapter One Foundation, has partnered with Diamond TV to broadcast a series of election debates ahead of the national elections that will take place in August this year in Zambia. The series began in January and ended in March 2021.
It featured leading officials from the most prominent political parties in Zambia to discuss various issues. The TV series form part of Chapter One's civic education and human rights mission and set out to provide a space in which political candidates could share their public policy proposals and political opinions with potential voters. Additionally, the debate series provided a platform for potential voters to engage with candidates, comparing and contrasting their policies, and allowing for informative discourse that will hopefully result in voters making informed decisions during the August 2021 national elections.
The TV series began with an episode which unpacked legislative interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic and aired in August 2020. The debates were well received by the public.
Chapter One Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes and protects human rights, human rights defenders, constitutionalism, social justice and rule of law in Zambia through advocacy, civic education and strategic public interest litigation. Linda is a lawyer and a civil rights activist and the owner and founder of her law firm, LCK Chambers, which she started in July 2019. She is also the founder and Executive Director of Chapter One Foundation, which she founded at the same time. In the same year, Kasonde was elected as the Vice-President for Africa for the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, the first Zambian to hold that position. In 2021, Kasonde was appointed as a member of the Advisory Board of the International Bar Association’s Africa Regional Forum.
The TV debate series focused on the following topics:
- Introduction to political parties, their public policy proposals and political opinions
- The parties' development agendas: tackling unemployment, the depreciating currency, and strengthening local industries
- Inclusivity: women, youth and differently-abled persons and how they fit into parties development agenda
- Human rights, civic participation and politics - protecting citizen’s rights and embracing transparency