Who said journalists do not have sides? Political or otherwise? Electoral governance is everywhere and the Malawi media has not been left behind.
The Lilongwe-based Bwaila Media Club (BMC) this Saturday 17th January holds its first elections, after it was established in 2010, following the disbandment of the all-time favourite Lilongwe Press Club (LPC).
The elections come barely months after the Journalists Union of Malawi (Juma) went to polls at the end of November 2014 in Liwonde where mass and commercial media consultant and Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) Public Relations Officer M’theto Lungu emerged its new president.
It also follows a month later in December 2014, when Thom Khanje also emerged winner and took over the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi-Chapter chairmanship from Anthony Kasunda who is now with Blantyre City Council as its Public Relations Manager. The MISA elections were held at the Riverside Hotel in Lilongwe.
Lungu and Khanje shattered leadership dreams harboured by George Mhango of The Nation and George Kasakula then of The Nation and now with Times Group respectively in hyped and tightly contested polls.
In the BMC race, MBCtv journalist Peter Makawa has drawn swords against Daily Times’ Gregory Gondwe for the post of Chairperson, whilst Radio Islam reporter Angella Banda is challenging Nyasa Times reporter Alfred Chauwa on the Vice position.
Farm radio’s Augustine Mulomole is contesting against Ntchindi Meke of Daily Times, whilst the position of Vice Secretary General is being contested by Mchinji District Information Officer (DIO) Sarah Munthali and Capital Radio’s Stevie Chilundu.
Interim Chairperson Wisdom Chimgwede says the event marks an important milestone in the life of the club because these are the first ever elections since its establishment, and that it is a retreat where the journalists can start to reengage with each other and key stakeholders in creating an information vibrant atmosphere in the central region and beyond.
Media consultant Joseph Scott, Matindi Radio Fm’s Eric Msikiti and Innocent Kumchedwa, and Ministry of Information’s Henry Nyaka are up against each other for the two slots of executive members.
The elections will be preceded by donation by the club of blankets to the maternity ward at Mponela Health Centre, a brief demonstration against gender-based violence at Mponela Trading Centre, socials football and netball games between the journalists and Airtel Malawi staff and a presentation of the Distinguished Media Relations Award (DMRA) to Airtel Malawi.
The first DMRA was awarded to the former Chinese Ambassador, H.E. Songtia at the end of his term of office in Malawi.
Speeches and a braai disco will mark the end of the program. BMC is made up of central region based journalists.
There are also expected elections to fill vacant positions in Regional Chapters of JUMA in February 2015, a continuation of the media ‘electoral democracy’ wind of change in the media fraternity.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :