ESAFF gets new leaders
After more than three years of the interim executive regional board, ESAFF has a new exco leadership. The new farmer leaders of the Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum were elected during the Triennial General Summit (TGS) that was held in Morogoro, Tanzania. All 12 member countries were represented at the summit with three delegates from each country.
The executive committee of the Board or in short (the exco) is made of the Board Chair, Vice Chair, General Secretary and Treasurer who are charged with the responsibility of running affairs of the organizations between board meetings.
Moses Shaha a smallholder farmer from Kilifi in Costal Kenya was elected a chairperson of ESAFF. Mr. Shaha is among the farmers who formed ESAFF in 2002 in Johannesburg on the side event during the world summit on sustainable development. Before his new post Mr. Shaha was a General Secretary of ESAFF.
The Vice chairperson’s post was taken by Elizabeth Mpofu a small scale farmer leader from Masvingo in Zimbabwe. Before elections, Ms. Mpofu was the chairperson of ESAFF since 2005. She took over the chairmanship from Esther Kiwazi of Uganda who resigned from the post. Under Ms. Mpofu’s leadership, ESAFF which seem to be stagnant between 2004-2007 was energized in 2007 and got registered in Tanzania and set up a secretariat in 2009.
The General Secretary post for ESAFF for the next three years will be held by Hakim Baliraine a small-scale farmer from Baitambogwe Sub County in Uganda. Hakim had successfully led ESAFF Uganda from one success to another. ESAFF Uganda now employs 5 staff and is expanding its membership base from one area to another and will cover the whole Uganda by the end of 2012.
NASFAM chairperson Goodwell Chiyeya was elected the new ESAFF treasurer. Chiteya took over Mamalefetsane Phakoe of Lesotho who held the post since the by elections that were held in Uganda in July 2010. Ms. Mamalefetsane was very instrumental in ensuring members pay their membership dues before she stepped down.
Announcing the elections results, the independent returning officer, Yakobo Tibamanya says elections were free and fair and followed the constitution of ESAFF. He gave the full results (in bracket) for each post contested as follows: Chairmanship: Moses Shaha – Kenya (14); Elizabeth Mpofu – Zimbabwe (11); Vice Chairperson post: Elizabeth Mpofu – Zimbabwe (16); Odette Nzeyimana – Burundi (13). General Secretary: Hakim Baliraine – Uganda (elected unopposed). Treasurer: Goodwell Chiteya – Malawi (11), Richard Rabetrano – Madagascar (7); Odette Nzeyimana – Burundi – (7)
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