Professor Munyae Mulinge is the new chairman of the Kenyan welfare association in Botswana following elections held on Sunday at Tsholofelo hall in Gaborone.
Mulinge took over the Kenya Friendship Association (KEFA) hot seat from Maurice Nyamunga who retired after two terms in office. Save for one position in the hardship committee, all the office bearers were elected unopposed after the circulation of a controversial lobby list that had a line-up dubbed the KEFA Nationalist Team. Lawyer Eric Adede supported sentiments expressed by Naftali Muga who felt it was wrong to circulate such a list because it is tantamount to rigging by the outgoing office. However, the elections proceeded after it was explained by the officials that the list does not bar anybody from contesting the elections.
All the candidates in the list easily sailed through, giving the returning officer Lawrence Muya an easy time. The list had Mulinge as chairman and Rosemary Gitau as his vice; Naftali Bondo Ligawa as secretary with Paul Leboo as his assistant and Wilson Tsalwa as treasurer. Christopher Kiama became the chairman of the hardship committee while Andrew Anyona is the secretary. James Mwai is a member of the committee together with Abednego Kiguangu Gitari, who beat Francis Paul Omondi at the ballot. Before the elections, Nyamunga led members of the old committee in giving out their report.
Nyamunga stressed that under his leadership, KEFA has made great strides highlighted by a number development like the near complete formation of a savings and credit society. Other notable achievements were the organisation of investment forums where envoys from various countries and corporate chiefs came to speak to Kenyans about job and business opportunities in their domains. Nyamunga added that his office oversaw the signing of a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the three welfare associations representing East Africans in Botswana. The old committee paid tribute to the Kenyan High Commission in Gaborone for its vital support and cooperation. After the elections, deputy head of the High Commission, Hilary Kyengo handed over certificates to the new office bearers. Both outgoing and incoming officials singled out past immediate secretary William Kaboro for his outstanding hard work and commitment to KEFA. He was hailed as the most effective official in an otherwise competent team. The re-elected Tsalwa also earned praise for his prudent management of the association's finances. In his report Tsalwa said the finances of KEFA have improved considerably with P14,636 in the account but more needs to be done. After his election, Mulinge promised to keep up the good work of his predecessor. He told members to help in recruiting more Kenyans to the association and urged them to make constructive criticisms. He said that with proper organisation and commitment, KEFA can grow into a major organisation and investment machine with interests in hotel and real estate.