After waiting for two weeks, sacked Mediamax Network Ltd employees finally had a reason to smile when they started receiving their dues last week.
The delay had started causing anxiety among the 160 workers relieved of their duties on 30th October, with speculation that the company was facing cashflow issues and may be unable to clear terminal dues estimated at Ksh100 million.
It is understood the main shareholders had to inject in more cash. Cash started streaming into accounts first to those who bank NCBA, the Mediamax banker.
The company is paying a gratuity of 15 days for each year worked and buying off pending leave days. A number of the employees will walk away millionaires
Now the hard part for most of them begins: moving on and finding another job. Lucky ones are said to have already landed jobs, while others have been rehired on new contracts at Mediamax.
Managing the ‘sudden wealth’ will be tricky maths, especially in a slow economy where real estate and big-time tenders are in vogue.
The company – co-owned by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family and Deputy President William Ruto – laid off 160 employees, including TV, radio and newspaper journalists in the bloodiest retrenchment to happen in Kenya’s media history.
Among the big names fired were K24 television presenters and editor including popular Kameme FM Presenter Moses Kanyira. The layoff, package through redundancy, was immediately followed by training in financial management for those affected.
Kameme TV sackings
Kameme TV was the most affected by the mass firing at Mediamax Networks, with most of its employees losing their jobs.
Kameme TV, which was launched in 2017, fired all video editors, presenters and a number of producers. There is talk that Mediamax could be planning to close the vernacular TV station which has been unable to wrestle market from Royal Media Services Inooro TV. Other sources indicate the TV station will be rebranded to focus on entertainment.
See also >> Israel Company on KRA Clean List Misbehaves
Over 20 journalists were fired from the TV station, leaving a lean staff of six people. Among those spared the purge are Ngina wa Wandurwa, Wainaina wa Kiarie, Mwaura wa Gunya, Nungari wa Kamau and Kimani wa Ngunjiri as well as news anchor Njogu wa Njoroge.
Emoo FM Presenters
Kalenjin Radio station Emoo was also affected, losing a number of presenters. Emoo FM is one of the newest stations to launched by Mediamax at the behest of Deputy President William Ruto, who is a principal shareholder in the company.
Those fire from Emoo FM include, among others: Eric Rono (news presenter), Eliud Kiprotich alias Eliud Eliud (news presenter), Abraham Kiplimo (business news) and Kiplagat Kwambai alias Ng’ombe Hamsini (presenter) as well as Benwaa Cheruiyot (sports reporter), Edwin Arap Tanui (presenter) and Julius Kibet (presenter).
Mayian FM Presenters
Maasai-language Mayian FM radio presenter Peter Dio and Deputy head Benson Wuapari were among those affected by the ruthless Mediamax mass sacking. Mayian FM Head of Radio Diana Daido, a former communications director at Narok County, survived.
K24 Staff Sacked
1. Fred Njiri – Managing Editor K24
2. Tony Timase – Head of Business k24
3. Torome Tirike – Head of Sports
4. Franklin Wambugu – Managing Editor, Swahili
5. Boniface Mutakha – Managing Editor, English
6. Frankilin Macharia – Senior Reporter
7. Anders Ihaji – Political reporter
8. Ali Mtenzi- Deputy Managing Editor
9. Mwanaisha Chidzuga – Swahili anchor
10. Juma Bhalo – Swahili Anchor.