Journalists association repeats disputed polls

Journalists association repeats disputed polls

The Kenya Parliamentary Journalists Association (KPJA) that brings together journalists covering Parliament carried out a second round of its annual elections after a petition contesting the outcome of the previous polls.

Yesterday’s (Monday) election attracted 41 fully registered members where Gideon Keter of the Star Newspaper clinched the Chairman’s post after garnering 21 votes against the incumbent Roselyne Obala of Standard Newspaper who got 19 votes.

The Vice Chairman and Treasurer position went unopposed with Edwin Obuya of Qwetu Radio retaining the position of Vice Chair while Wilfred Ayaga of the Standard Newspaper took up the Treasurer position previously held by Capital Fm’s Laban Wanambisi.

Radio Citizen’s Ruth Njuguna was elected the Organising Secretary after she defeated Ebru Africa’s George Okachi after garnering 21 votes against her competitor who got 17 votes.

The Secretary General position was also hotly contested where Chemutai Goin of K24 TV fought off stiff competition from the Star Newspaper’s Samuel Kisika. Goin garnered 20 votes against Kisika’s 19.

Caroline Korir of Radio Salaam was elected the Deputy Secretary after she defeated Citizen TV’s Stephen Letoo by 3 votes, with Letoo managing 19 votes.

The Liason Officer position attracted a late entrant Kennedy Murithi of NTV who faced off with West TV’s Dennis Omondi beating him with 26 votes against Omondi’s14 votes.

The election was presided over by James Macharia as the returning officer, with the losers conceding defeat. “I leave with my head high and I wish the new officials well.” Obala said while conceding defeat in the Chairperson’s post.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi who is the patron of the Association has congratulated the new team vowing to the new team in a bid to advance Parliamentary Journalism.

Speaking after his election as Chair Keter said sourcing for capacity building through trainings of the members will be top of his agenda. “As the 2017 elections approach, political reporters will play key role in shaping opinions hence need for refresher trainings on electoral reporting,” he added.

The term for the new officials runs for a year.

The decision to carry out the repeat exercise was arrived at after a mediation committee resolved to have fresh polls following an appeal by Obala who contested her loss against Keter in the first election.

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Story By Richard Bosire
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