The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) that was postponed in September 2022 will finally take place this Saturday at Maharaja in Gaborone.
The AGM was adjourned because one of the candidates for the chairperson position was politically affiliated.
The candidate has since withdrawn from the race and the decision to put the AGM on hold gave MISA a chance to ensure that all candidates are not politically affiliated as per the MISA elections guidelines.
A group of local scribes and media practitioners are eyeing key positions as they battle for the soul of the organisation goes to the wire.
There are currently two lobby groups, which are a mixture of media practitioners from both private institutions and government.
There is ‘Team Reshaping MISA’ led by Thomas Nkhoma as chairperson, Tshireletso Stoffel (vice chairperson), Leatile Mmutle (secretary), Tsaone Basimanebotlhe (treasurer), and additional members comprising Sharon Mathala, Bakang Tiro, Aubrey Maswabi, Nicholas Mokwena, and Ketumile Ramatiti. The other lobby known as ‘Team Integrity’ under the stewardship of Tefo Pheage includes Angela Mdlalani (vice chairperson), Victor Baatweng (secretary), Amantle Serojane (treasurer), while additional members are Oratile Kefitlhile, Alfred Masokola, Rorisang Mogojwe and Thuso Motshegwe.
Eligible voters who include both media practitioners and media students are advised to come in large numbers on Saturday and exercise their right, and vote people who will reshape the media industry in Botswana, and ameliorate it. MISA advocates for media freedom and freedom of expression in Southern Africa. It operates as a regional programme with national chapters forming its membership in 11 Southern African countries. MISA programmes have grown and now have a global outreach especially through its media violations monitoring programme.
As a result, MISA’s work and agenda have also been taken up by many civic organisations in the region, thereby creating consciousness about the linkages between media freedom, freedom of expression and broader human rights and democratic campaigns. The founding of MISA was triggered by the Windhoek Declaration on Promoting Independent and Pluralistic Media in Africa of 1991. The MISA Education and Production Trust were registered on October 12, 1994 in Windhoek, Namibia, by a group of activist media practitioners.
The aim of the Trust is to promote and strengthen a pluralistic and independent media in Southern Africa as a pillar of the democratic process. MISA was formed against the backdrop of media violations and harassment of journalists by governments in the region.