Divided Malawi media go to polls June 3 to hire new Misa board

Journalists return to Lilongwe on June 3 to elect a new board for media watchdog Misa- Malawi chapter after the violent but botched poll on May 6.

Frank Phiri  (left) is facing  Teresa Ndanga of Zodiak (far right) with Counsel  Mandala Mabulasa(in glasses) and Thom Khanje on mic  before the elections were called off

Misa out going chair Thom Khanje confirmed the elections have been slated for Saturday June 3.

Theresa Ndanga, Head of News at Zodiak and is of TCM fame is favoured to win the election which she is competing against Frank Phiri, former business Editor at Times and is now media consultant.

The elections were called off after disagreements on the eligibility of some voters to cast their votes.

Phiri immediately called on Misa legal advisor Mandala Mambulasa to step down saying he mishandled the issue.

Khanje the outgoing executive committee, at its meeting on May 7, agreed that while subscription and renewal of membership is open throughout the year, members who will be allowed to vote will only be those on voters list by Friday, May 5, 2017.

“Contesting candidates will only be those on the list of the contestants during the aborted elections,” said Khanje.

He also said members will meet their own cost for the election which include transport, food and accomodation costs.

Khanje also said the meeting agreed that the contestants or their representatives should spend time with the Misa secretariat during the cleaning of the voters roll exercise so that only those eligible can vote. “Misa Malawi appeals to its members on the importance of upholding the integrity of journalism profession by conducting in a respectable and exemplary manner before, during and after the elections as doing otherwise would put the fraternity into disrepute and undermine its status as a watchdog ,” said Khanje.

The TCM team accuses the Frank Phiri team of being a sell out to government.

Greyson Chapita, who is a top official of Blue League, a wing of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party leads the campaign in social media for Frank Phiri. The Frank Phiri team also accuses Theresa Ndanga of getting support from the opposition Malawi Congress Party.

Both camps deny the allegations.

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