Zubeida Kananu succeeds Churchill Otieno as Kenya Editors Guild president

Zubeida Kananu

Zubeida Kananu delivers her speech at the Nairobi Club on April 29, 2023 after being elected the Kenya Editors Guild president.

Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

KTN anchor Zubeida Kananu was yesterday elected the president of the Kenya Editors Guild (KEG), succeeding veteran editor Churchill Otieno.

Ruth Nesoba of the BBC was elected Ms Kananu’s vice president during the annual general meeting. Speaking with the Sunday Nation after the election, Ms Kananu expressed her gratitude.

“I am grateful to the team for electing me and I am ready to walk the journey with them,” she said. “I’m truly humbled by the trust and confidence that the members of the guild have in me. Victory belongs to KEG and the entire media fraternity.”

Ms Nesoba said: “I believe that a healthy democratic process requires that we have a diversity of voices and perspectives, and I look forward to working collaboratively with all members of the Guild.”

She went on: “I believe that the Kenya Editors Guild has a vital role to play in the future of our profession, and I am excited to work with the rest of the leadership team to deliver on our promises to our members.”

Ms Kananu, the outgoing vice president of the Guild, won with 72 votes while her opponent Sammy Muraya from Journalists for Human Rights garnered 36. Ms Nesoba won the election with 73 votes against James Ng’ang’a Mbugua (Media Max) who got 35.

Other members of the executive committee were elected unopposed. Lawyer Tom Onyango, who was the returning officer, declared them validly elected.

They are Radio Africa Group’s Digital Editor Francis Mureithi (council member in charge of digital), KBC’s Toepista Nabusoba (council member, radio), Millicent Awuor (council member, television), Standard Group’s Linda Bach (council member, print) and George Nyabuga (council member, academia).

The returning officer declared two trustees — Arthur Okwemba of African Woman and Child Feature Services and Martin Masai of Eastern Broadcasting Corporation.

Mr Otieno handed over the reins of the guild to Ms Kananu shortly after the new office was elected and urged members to work with the new team. Mr Ng’ang’a conceded defeat and thanked members for having listened to him and voted for him. He said though he was not elected, he would still serve KEG.

The new executive committee committed to harnessing partnerships and growing KEG in their various capacities. And with the challenges that the media faces, they committed to giving direction and helping to improve the journalism profession.

“This is an opportunity to come together to protect and safeguard media freedom and other gains that the Constitution bestows to the profession.

Under my leadership and with the support of the media fraternity, I will ensure that the gains in media freedom are not eroded and that the welfare of journalists is prioritised. Above all, we will strive to ensure that professionalism prevails in the media,” Ms Kananu said.

The new vice president added: “I recognise that the task ahead of us is not an easy one. The journalism industry is facing unprecedented challenges and our profession is under threat from numerous forces. However, I am confident that, together, we can overcome these challenges and build a stronger, more resilient profession.”

“As vice president, I am committed to advancing the interests of our members and advocating for the values and principles of our profession,” she added.