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Lands CS Farida Karoney poaches top Citizen editors

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Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney has recruited two former Royal Media Services (RMS) editors, sparking speculation she may have instigated their resignation from the SK Macharia-owned media empire.

Former editorial consultant Peter Opondo and former Managing Editor Nixon Ng’ang’a have taken up jobs at Ardhi House weeks after quitting Communications Centre, Business Today has learnt. Opondo, a former Managing Editor at RMS and Mediamax Network Ltd, was the first to quit his job about one month ago and was said to have ventured into private business.

It is understood he could become Karoney’s personal assistant, a low profile job but which offers unlimited networks within the ministry and State House. On social media, he has been highlighting progress he is making in constructing a mansion at his rural home as well as baby steps to greenhouse farming.

Ng’ang’a, formerly a Voter Education Manager at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) also quit weeks later. It has since emerged that they have joined Karoney, their former boss who was plucked from RMS where she was Chief Operating Officer by President Uhuru Kenyatta and subsequently appointed as CS for Lands and Physical Planning.

It is, however, not yet clear what role they would be assigned but sources indicated they were likely to take up administrative work, possibly as communication advisors.

Opondo has previously worked at KTN as Special Projects Editor, Senior Reporter and Current Affairs Talk Show host. When he left Mediamax in 2015, the media house also said he was  shifting to private business only to end up at Communications Centre.

Ng’ang’a is a former senior reporter with the Standard and also worked as a communications officer with the Rural Electrification Authority and the Constituencies Development Fund ( now known as the National Government Constituencies Development Fund) Board before joining IEBC.

He holds a Master of Arts degree in Communication and Media Studies (Distinction) from the University of Leeds and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Nairobi. He has also been pursuing a masters degree at Kenyatta University.

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The two join a host of journalists who have left the newsroom to take up communication jobs both in the national government as well as various county governments.

Their exit from RMS coincided with a restructuring of its top editorial echelons, which saw former KTN Managing Editor Joe Ageyo appointed Editorial Director with former NTV General Manager Linus Kaikai being retained as an editorial consultant.

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