Helen Mwale has retained her seat as MISA Zambia chairperson in a landslide victory against contender Wilson Pondamali at the 19th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Cresta Golfview Hotel in Lusaka.

Returning officer Clement Zulu from FODEP declared Mwale duly elected shortly before 20:00 hours after polling 103 votes against Pondamali’s 33 votes yesterday.

In a speech after being declared winner, Mwale committed to promote reconciliation, transparency, integrity and continuity.

“I am dedicating this win to all of you and my two daughters Mwamba and Mubanga for praying for me. We are a team. MISA is not divided. What we shall be preaching from now on is reconciliation, transparency and integrity. We are not politicians. We are professionals who should lead objectively, in a professional manner and with integrity,” said Mwale.

But losing candidate Pondamali described the elections as a sham, citing breach of the constitution.

“Elections have been held but they were a sham because some people that have been admitted in the National Governing Council (NGC) do not qualify. The fact that they have been allowed to contest is an assault on the constitution and this kills the fibre of society. A compromised media is more dangerous that the defence forces,” said Pondamali.

“I will continue working in the media fraternity and see how best my services can be appreciated fighting for journalists’ rights and seeing to it that we have press freedom.”

The position of vice chairperson was scooped by Hyde Haguta with 103 votes beating Besa Kyanamina who polled 34 votes.

Meanwhile, all the three committee members went through unopposed.

The committee members are Martin Akende (Editor, Millennium radio), Veronica Mwaba (founder and CEO of Dziwa Science and Technology Media) and lastly Father Barnabas Simatende (Director, Oblate Radio Liseli).