MISA-Malawi in Watershed Polls: Who Replaces Iron Madam?
The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says it is determined to provide water-tight balloting services for institutions conducting elections in the country as a means of upholding democratic values.
MEC public relations manager Sangwani Mwafulirwa said this ahead of elections for the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter scheduled for today.
The polls are pitting Golden Matonga of Platform for Investigative Journalism (PIJ) and Wonder Msisya of Times Group for the position of chairperson.
MEC will provide the coordination, monitoring and other oversight services alongside with the MISA Secretariat, said Mwafulirwa in an interview with Zodiak.
Four candidates are competing for the position of vice chairperson: Chisomo Ngulube, Alick Ponje, Joseph Mwale and Blessings Kanache.
On the position of executive member, there are also four contenders: Steve Zimba, Nathan Majawa, Luciano Milala and Cathy Maulidi.
Polling will be conducted at regional level: Lilongwe in the Centre; Mzuzu in the North and Blantyre in the South. The decision was made after concerns that not all members would be able to travel to Lilongwe to vote on the initially-planned day, May 7.
Final results will be announced on Friday after consolidation of the votes, said a statement issued by the MISA secretariat.
The runup has been characterized by hostile campaigning by camps supporting the two rival candidates for the position of chairperson.
The polls are a part of a series of activities MISA Malawi is holding this week under its 2023 Annual General Meeting.
The activities, coinciding with International Press Freedom Day, will reach the climax on May 6 with a gala where awards will be accorded to best performing journalists in the past 12 months.
Teresa Ndaga, who is leaving the mantle, has been described as the most successful leader of the media advocacy group in its history.
During her reign in the last six years, she has overseen the construction of the first-ever headquarters and training centre for MISA-Malawi, and also struck lucrative training deals for journalists with several local and international training organisations.
Ndanga has also been a vocal and fearless advocate for media rights in Malawi, directly confronting the government whenever violations arise.
The next chairperson is challenged to pass this bar; lest they will disappoint, not only the media fraternity but the majority Malawians who regard an effective media as key to the upholding of democracy!