In a twist of events, Filmmakers Association of Malawi (Fama) failed to hold its planned elections during its annual general meeting (AGM) on Friday in Lilongwe reportedly because logistical hitches made some delegates fail to travel.
The elections were the main item on the agenda during the long-awaited AGM which previously failed to take place due to lack of funds. Prior to the AGM, it was announced that all positions in the executive would be up for grabs during the event.
But the AGM, held at Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) Building in Lilongwe, failed to elect new office-bearers.
Incumbent president Ezaius Mkandawire confirmed in an interview yesterday that the assembly agreed to postpone the elections after it was observed that most members did not make it to the AGM.
He said: “Very few people met and we agreed not to proceed with the elections. We had a huge logistical nightmare as we could not get people from Mzuzu, Salima and Blantyre to the venue. Our membership is also huge and we had to consider the Covid-19 regulations.”
Mkandawire said the elections have now been pushed to June next year when the association will hold its next AGM. The main contest this year was expected to be between Mkandawire and Charles Shemu Joyah who wanted to compete for the presidency.
In a separate interview, Joyah corroborated Mkandawire’s statement, saying as an entity under the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Fama was obliged to stick to the Covid-19 precautionary measures as guided by the government.
“The membership of the association has swelled. This made the situation a bit tricky for us since we could not exclude other members from taking part in the voting process. The decision that was arrived at was in the best interest of everyone,” he said.
Videographer Gift Sukez Sukali, film producer Joyce Mhango-Chavula and Ian Chisekula were expected to contest for the vice-presidency. James Kitchen and Odala Balamu showed interest in the position of secretary.
However, some reports indicate that one of the factors that contributed to the postponement of the elections was misunderstandings on the composition of the voters roll.
The opposing camps of Mkandawire and Joyah allegedly failed to agree on the numbers which led to a deadlock.