BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — On March 24, St. Kitts and Nevis introduced the syndicated radio and television “Leadership Matters (Virtual Forum Series)” as another tool to communicate directly with citizens and residents. The show was also streamed on social media.
The timing was particularly important, given that the nation went through a period of total lockdown on March 31. The emergency measure was introduced by the Cabinet to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. Leadership Matters ran weekly up to May 12, before going on a brief hiatus in the lead up to the June 5 general election. The programme resumed on June 23, airing every Tuesday except on August 4, which was a holiday.
The show marked its 20th episode this week. Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris has appeared on every episode. The interactive programme features questions and comments from callers as well those submitted via WhatsApp and social media. Dr. Harris and other senior government officials have responded to at least 650 questions during that time.
“That is what this programme is about. It is the government at the highest level holding itself accountable to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and residents here,” Dr. Harris stated at the close of this week’s episode. “We do that because we value you. You are important to us. People matter most for the Unity government in St. Kitts and Nevis and so every opportunity that we can connect to you, we welcome that opportunity.”
Other forums that promote direct interaction with the public include the Prime Minister’s Monthly Press Conference and the radio and television programme Working for You. Large town hall meetings were regularly held but have been suspended due to COVID-19.