The Crime Journalists Association Of Kenya (CJAK) elected new officials on Saturday during its Annual General Meeting (AGM).
CJAK will now be chaired by seasoned Crime, Security and Investigative reporter Zadock Angira who works for the People Daily.
Akello Odenyo, who is a journalist with Radio Africa’s, The Star Newspaper, will be CJAK’s Secretary General.
Other leaders elected into office include,Ghetto Radio’s Investigative Journalist and Producer Judy Kanaitha who will serve as Vice - Chairperson, Seasoned Nation Media Group Journalist Manase Otsialo who will serve as Deputy Secretary General and KTN New’s Fred Kagonye who will be the association’s Treasurer.
The new council will serve for a period of two years.
“It is a great honour to lead distinguished security journalists as their chairperson. The new council will build on the foundation that has been laid by the inaugural leadership. We will continue to promote quality journalism and enhance accountability while championing for peer review amongst our members and contemporaries,” said Angira, CJAK Chairperson.
Akello Odenyo, who is the CJAK Secretary General, said that she would continue to promote the welfare of security journalists across the country while seeking to work and collaborate with like-minded partners to enhance the association’s programmes that include providing training opportunities for its members as well as education scholarships.
“CJAK has always championed the rights of its members and by extension journalists in Kenya. Alongside the council, we will strive to seek opportunities that will be beneficial to our members in order to allow them to thrive in their respective fields,” said Odenyo.
The Inaugural CJAK council, led by former chairperson and veteran, prolific Security and Investigative journalist Dominic Wabala, led the team for at least four and a half years.
Wabala, who is also a founding member of the association, alongside outgoing Secretary General and senior Security and Investigative journalist Joseph Muraya, Senior Nation Media Group journalist Mary Wambui, Former K24 TV Senior Journalist Shukri Wachu and BBC’s Mel Myendo spearheaded the institutionalizing of the association as well as enhancing its partnerships with several state and no state actors.
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The Inaugural council oversaw the launch of the Association on March,4,2021 in an event graced by Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, Former DCI boss George Kinoti, Media Council of Kenya ,CEO David Omwoyo, Independent Medico Legal Unit(IMLU) Executive Director Peter Kiama, Amnesty International-Kenya Executive Director Irungu Houghton, International Justice Mission-Kenya Director Benson Shamala, HAKI Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid, Representative from International Commission of Jurists -Kenya, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Africa Uncensored Co-founder John-Allan Namu among other high profile guests.
The inaugural council was able to set up a bi-monthly Mental Wellness programme where Security journalists who are the most affected by acts of violence while in the line of duty are given a platform to seek conseling services and support.
“Serving as Chairperson of CJAK for the last four and a half years was quite the experience. I am happy that we managed to launch the association and support our members through the various programmes we had. CJAK is truly a great family with distinguished journalists and we hope the association continues to scale greater heights,” said Wabala.
“I am proud of members for supporting this association and supporting each other we have surmounted many challenges together and achieved great things. I am most passionately proud however of our mental wellness programmes and the impact it has had on the lives of our members. We will continue supporting CJAK’s initiatives as we build our noble profession,” said Muraya.