Malawian journalists over the weekend elected Blantyre Newspapers Limited (BNL) editor Fredrick Ndala Jnr as the new President of the Journalists Union of Malawi (JUMA).
Ndala Jnr, who is the editor for one of BNL’s titles, The Sunday Times, floored Nation Publications Limited (NPL) reporter George Mhango and Nyasa Times’ Northern Region Bureau Chief, Collins Mtika.
The two losing candidates (Mhango and Mtika) were JUMA’s outgoing secretary general and acting president respectively.
Mtika has been acting as JUMA president since late last year following the resignation of Maganizo Mazeze, former Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) journalist now a spokesperson of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
The former publisher and NPL journalist, Ndala Jnr will be deputized by Lilongwe based Galaxy FM radio reporter Sylvester Namiwa.
The gathering also elected seasoned freelance journalist Charles Mkula as the new secretary general whose vice is Aston Gondwe former MBC reporter now working with Livingstonia radio.
Another veteran journalist, Lloyd Zawanda of Joy FM was entrusted to keep the union’s purse after beating another seasoned journalist and the only lady vying for a senior position, Wezie Nyirongo of Capital 102.5 FM radio.
Wezie was then incorporated into the National Executive Committee (NEC) as an executive member alongside elected Temwa Mhango of Tigawane radio, Isaac Kambwiri of Capial FM Radio and old hand lady journalist Fazila Tembo who writes for African Press Agency (APA).
JUMA is one of the 11 Malawian rights holder associations that receive funding for their activities from the Norwegian Embassy in Lilongwe which is administered by the Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA).