Sunday, November 19, 2006

THE KOJA -CONSTITUTION

PREAMBLE

Whereas Kenyans have long desired the freedom of the media, democratic and vibrant media that are constitutionally protected and provided for;

Whereas we, the members of the Kenya online Journalists Association -KOJA:

- Are committed to the creation of a vibrant, sustainable and democratic online media that is constitutionally protected; - Have taken seriously the challenge to peacefully strive for this ideal;

- Are determined to unite in order to succeed in this endeavors;
- Desire to promote this ideal among Kenyan journalists and other peoples of all races, colours, creeds, and gender; now therefore, we the Kenya Online Journalists Association- KOJA accept and adopt this Constitution as the fundamental law of the Association.

Article 1: Description of document

This Constitution is the Constitution of the Kenya Online Journalists Association,hereinafter referred to as KOJA.

Article 2: Description of KOJA


(1) KOJA is a voluntary membership organization consisting of the following members:
(a) Full members, who shall be drawn from media organizations as legally recognized by the law;
(b) Associate members, who shall comprise all those institutions, associations and organizations that are involved in Media

(2) Provided that the decision to admit associate members shall be made by the Governing Council and ratified by the Annual General Meeting as hereinafter established under Article 4.

(a) Any institution, association or organization desirous of being a member of KOJA shall make a written application in which a detailed description of its vision, mission and objectives shall be spelt out.

(b) This application shall be forwarded to the Operations, Relationships and Public Affairs Committee as established under Article 4.

(c) The Operations, Relationships and Public Affairs Committee shall scrutinize each application and make the necessary recommendations to the Governing Council on the suitability or otherwise of each applicant.

(d) The Governing Council retains the discretion to admit or otherwise any application for membership.

Provided that this Sub-Article will not apply to any local authority wishing to join KOJA whose membership will be automatic upon fulfilling any requirements laid down by the Governing Council.

(3) Except where otherwise expressly provided for, all members of KOJA shall have equal rights, obligations and liabilities.

Article 3: Mandate of KOJA

KOJA shall undertake all peaceful activities leading to the establishment, functioning, sustenance and enhancement of viable, sustainable and democratic online Journalism but not limited to activities related to:

(1) Promotion, enhancement, articulation and advocacy; (2) Defence; (3) Monitoring; (4) Lobbying;and (5) Mobilization.

Article 4: Organs of KOJA

Subject to Article (5) hereof, the organs of KOJA shall be

(1) TheAnnual General Meeting; (2) TheGoverningCouncil;
(3) The Committees namely: the Provincial Committee; the Finance Committee; the Management Committee; the Operations, Relationships and Public Affairs Committee

(4) The Secretariat, which shall be headed by the Secretary-General.


Article 5: Powers of the Governing Council to form other organs ;

Subject to ratification by the Annual General Meeting, nothing in the foregoing provisions shall prohibit the Governing Council from forming such organs of KOJA as may be expedient for the achievement of the mandate of KOJA.

Article 6: Mandate of the Annual General Meeting;

The Annual General Meeting shall:

(1) Be the supreme organ of KOJA and have powers to deliberate on all matters pertaining to KOJA;

(2) Adopt, repeal or amend the Constitution of KOJA;

(3) Ratify the names of officials elected to the Governing Council;

(4) Recall members of the Governing Council where their performance is deemed unsatisfactory;

(5) Receive and deliberate on reports from the members and organs of KOJA as presented by the Governing Council including but not limited to the financial and audit reports, the Committee reports and the independent evaluation reports; and

(6) Adopt or reject such resolutions as may be presented for ratification by the Governing Council.

Article 8: Modalities of holding the Annual General Meeting ;

1) The Annual General Meeting shall be held within 12 months of the previous Annual General Meeting.

2) The Annual General Meeting shall be convened by the Governing Council of KOJA, which shall give a 21-day notice and disclose its agenda.

3) A Special General Meeting, in which shall be vested the same mandate as the Annual General Meeting, shall be convened by the Governing Council on its own motion or at the request in writing of one-third of the members of KOJA after giving a 14-day notice and disclosing its agenda.

4) In the event that the Governing Council fails, refuses or neglects to convene an Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting as required, the members of Secretary- General shall convene them and where this fails, at least one-third of the KOJA can convene an Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting after fulfilling the same requirements on notice and disclosure of the agenda.

Article 9: Quorums at the Annual General Meeting;

(1) Subject to Sub-Article (2) of this Article and Article 22 (5) hereof no business shall be transacted at any Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting unless there are present at least half of the members of KOJA.

(2) The adoption, repeal or amendment of the Constitution of KOJA shall not be valid unless with the support of at least two-thirds of the members of KOJA.

Article 10: Composition of the Governing Council

The Governing Council shall:

(1) Consist of 25 persons, at least 8 of whom shall be women, elected by the members.

(2) Be elected in the following manner: (a) Seven persons each, at least two of who shall be women, drawn from the following Media categories , that is: Print, Broadcast, Prodcast and

(3) The Secretary-General shall be an ex-officio member of the Governing Council and will be charged with proper recording of the proceedings.

Article 11: Election into the Governing Council, office-bearers, discipline and removal ;

1) The election of members of the Governing Council and the Management Committee of KOJA shall be conducted by the Secretariat every two years.

2) While discharging this function, the secretariat can appoint any impartial and reputable organization to conduct the elections.

3) Anyone seeking election as a member of the Governing Council of KOJA shall:

(a) Be a Kenyan citizen; (b) Be a member of KOJA; (c) and be a professional Journalist.

4) The Chair, First Vice-Chair, Second Vice-Chair and Honorary Treasurer shall be popularly elected through secret ballot by members at the Annual General Meeting from among the 25 persons elected to the Governing Council

5) The Chair shall be the ceremonial head of KOJA and shall, inter-alia, undertake to articulate KOJA policies and network locally and internationally advising the Secretariat accordingly.

6) The Chair shall serve for a maximum period of two terms each five years.

7) (a) In cases where a member of the Governing Council is to be disciplined or dismissed, any 13 members of the Governing Council shall call a meeting to do so; giving a 14-day notice provided the petitioners represent the different categories of KOJA membership.

(b) Any decision to discipline or dismiss a member of the Governing Council can only be reached by at least two-thirds of the members of the Governing Council.

(c) Any decision to discipline or dismiss a member of the Governing Council shall be ratified by the Annual General Meeting/Special General Meeting.

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