The Botswana Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA Botswana) on 21 January 2023 elected a new National Governing Council (NGC) that will be led by Thomas Nkhoma as chairperson.
The new NGC replaces the one that was led by Mboki Chilisa, who will continue on the MISA Botswana board for one year as an ex-officio member.
The elections took place four months after the annual general meeting in September 2022 was suspended as one of the aspirants for the position of chairperson of MISA Botswana was an active member and a position bearer in a political party – something that is an affront to the MISA Regional Network’s values.
Other members of the new NGC board are Vice-Chairman Tshireletso Stoffel, Secretary Victor Baatweng and Treasurer Tsaone Basimanebotlhe. The board is also made up of five additional members – Aubrey Maswabi, Bakang Tiro, Ketumile Ramatiti, Nicholas Mokwena and Sharon Mathala.
MISA Regional Governing Council (RGC) Chairperson, Golden Maunganidze, congratulated the new board members, advising that they needed to roll up their sleeves quickly in defence of media freedom and the right to free expression.
“The new board comes in at a time when we have witnessed a worrying and sharp decline in media freedom in Botswana and the new NGC has its work cut out for them,” he said.
“In last year’s World Press Freedom Index, Botswana slipped from 38th to 95th position. Therefore, the new board has a lot of work to do to ensure that Botswana arrests this decline and reclaims its position as one of the top countries in terms of freedom of expression.”
Maunganidze said MISA will remain true to its values, one of which is non-partisanship. He challenged the new NGC to be firm and committed to the principles of freedom of expression and of the media.
MISA Regional Secretariat provided logistical support for the MISA Botswana annual general meeting.