This coming Saturday is no ordinary day for journalists in Malawi, as they go to the polls to elect leaders for the media body, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter.
The polls this year have drawn unprecedented attention and hype as two senior journalists, Thom Khanje of Times Group and George Kasakula of the Nation Publications Limited are set to battle it for the chairmanship.
The battle for the chairperson has rekindled the old rivalry for supremacy between the two giant publishing houses and MISA has engaged the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to facilitate the polls.
MEC spokesperson, Sangwani Mwafulirwa confirmed in an interview with Nyasa Times that the MEC will facilitate the polls on Saturday and was currently finalising the logistics with the media watchdog.
Mwafulirwa said his organisation offers such services on demand as part of the corporate social responsibility and contribution to strengthen corporate governance in institutions with elected leadership.
“We have done this to several political parties and membership based institutions that have approached us to assist. Wherever we have done it there have been no queries of irregularities and all candidates have always agreed with the outcomes,” he said.
Mwafulirwa added that institutions that want MEC to help them with elections they should contact the electoral body in time so as to plan well for logistics.
“We don’t charge for this services but when there are costs incurred sometime we would ask the institution to cover them. When an organisation wants us to assist we demand to be given the voters’ roll and list of candidates in good time,” he said.
For the vice chairperson there are three contestants; Jacob Jimu, a former employee of The Nation and now university lecturer; Cheu Mita, also formerly of The Nation and Yvonnie Sundu, currently working with The Nation in Lilongwe.
Five names have lined up for a single committee member position and they include Winie Botha of MBC, Alfred Chauwa of Nyasa Times, Edward Kuwacha of Nkhotakota Community Radio, Luciano Milala of Mudziwathu Community Radio in Mchinji and Frank Namangale of The Nation.
In the past MEC was also facilitating elections for the former Peoples Party, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and the Malawi Congress Party.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :