Sierra Leone: The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) has elected Zainab Iyamide Joaque (Uncontested) as Chief Electoral Commissioner of the SLAJ Electoral Commission (SLAJEC) for a period of three years.
She is the first female to be elected as Chief Electoral Commissioner of the Association.
The election was held during the Association’s just concluded Annual General Meeting in Bo, on June 5th 2021. Joaque succeeded James Tamba Lebbie who completed his second term in that position.
She joined the Commission in 2017 when she was elected as a Commissioner and gained electoral experience in all areas of the Commission’s work.
Joaque has successfully supported the conduct of the past SLAJ, Sierra Leone Reporters Union (SLRU), Women in the Media Sierra Leone (WIMSAL) and Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone (SWASAL) elections.
She is currently the Deputy News Editor at Awoko Newspaper.
“I feel humbled seeing my Male colleagues rallying around me and not thinking about gender issues to elect me as head of the Commission. It’s a daunting task of which I am certain that I and my team will be able to surmount by being fair and transparent throughout any electioneering process that we undertake” she said.
She furthered that, “as we begin a new term into this Commission, our first task will be to engage SLAJ and by extension all Affiliates Bodies to see how they can get an updated membership database. Elections credibility depends on the voters list, if the list is tainted with irregularities there is bound to be chaos”.
She however concluded by urging all executive members of the different bodies to take the issue of the voter register (membership list) seriously and to align their Constitutions with SLAJ.
She will be assisted by four Commissioners, Martha Kargbo, Daniel Moseray, NfaAlie Koroma and Emmanuel Samura.