Harare – The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) is seeking to return to the vibrancy and ethos of the Windhoek Declaration of May 3, 1991.
A year after the Windhoek Declaration – which was premised on the principles of a free press – was signed, MISA was formed in September 1992.
The organisation, which has a presence in 11 Southern African countries, recently renewed its leadership and moved its regional head office to Zimbabwe. Mr Golden Maunganidze was selected to lead the group as chairperson.
Speaking to The Southern Times this week, Mr Maunganidze said, “After every two years from 2018, we as chairpersons from all chapters from MISA in SADC agreed that we meet to renew leadership. In 2018, we met in Lusaka and we elected Hellen Mwale, the chairperson of Zambia to be the regional chairperson to lead us, among other committee members.
“After that, we had to move on as a regional bloc. We had seen that MISA in Windhoek where the headquarters were stationed, was no longer as visible as before, so we wanted chapters with capacity to run the head office to take over.
“The meeting which was held in Harare on June 4 saw chairpersons from all the chapters across the region coming together with their directors to decide who among us would lead us in terms of coordination, or housing the MISA head office. It was unanimously agreed that Zimbabwe takes over,” said Mr Maunganidze.
Zimbabwe is deputised by Lesotho and Tanzania is the treasurer.
“We need to make sure we do not disappoint in terms of promoting quality access to information. We stand for the promotion of access to information, media diversity and plurality in our region, this is what we agreed in Windhoek 30 years ago, the spirit still lives,” said Mr Maunganidze.