Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Botswana Chapter held its board of trustees elections on Saturday at Maharaj Conference Centre in Gaborone on Saturday (January 22. 2023).
The elections had two teams namely: Team Reshaping MISA and Team Integrity. All Team reshaping MISA member won except for one candidate for the Secretary post. One can say it was a long road to the elections, looking at the fact that it took four years for the elections to be held. MISA board elections are supposed to be held every two years, but they could not be held in time due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected many activities world-wide.
The board of trustees elections were initially set for September 3, 2022 following the MISA annual general meeting (AGM), which took place at the same. That was however not to be, as a hot debate ensued on whether the eligibility of one of the candidates who at the time was or still is serving in the structures of one of the political parties was eligible. As a result the AGM resolved to postpone the elections for three months
Fast forward to Saturday, the elections ran smoothly without any chaos, as scribes queued in the line patiently waiting for their chance to cast their vote. While there has not been an official announcement on whether the Saturday elections were free and fair, the process seemed smooth, without many hiccups. Even though the elections conducted by Botswana Council of Non-governmental Organisations (BOCONGO) started late and there were a few issues with the voter’s roll, for example some names supposedly missing from the voter’s roll all seemed to be well.
Congratulations are in order for the winners, but there is a lot of work ahead. Team Reshaping as previously won all most the contested seats except the one for board secretary. Now that the excitement and celebrations have died down, we expect the new board to hit the ground running. The winning team has promised to reshape MISA Botswana Chapter and bring it back to its glory years, which will be a welcome development. We will be expecting to hear from our board of trustees very soon to keep us in the loop on issues of governance, on where MISA Botswana Chapter is currently, as well as keep us abreast on their strategy. Visibility of MISA over the years seemed to have died down, therefore we expect the new board to work on taking MISA to the people. Some young and upcoming journalists do not know much about MISA, and we expect that to change following the elections. Furthermore, we expect to start seeing more debates on topics such as media freedom and freedom of expression and many more! We are hopeful that the new committee will take us somewhere and we encourage all media workers to take ownership and work hand in hand with MISA to bring about change in our beautiful country.