The Nation Media Group has sacked the editor caught up in a sexual harassment case that has shaken the media industry in Kenya.
Emeka Mayaka, the Nation newspapers bureau chief for Kisumu, is said to have been dismissed on Tuesday 18th April, barely two weeks after an intern working under him in Kisumu sensational claimed the senior journalist raped her at gun point.
This week Dave Opiyo, who had been recalled to Nairobi from Eldoret, was this week appointed to replace Mayaka, who cleared with the company on Friday last week.
The sacking came barely a week after Mayaka was recalled to Nairobi and investigations launched into the allegations. Two weeks ago, Mayaka had handed over the running of the regional activities to Silas Apolo, a reporter based at the Kisumu bureau. In an email to bureau staff, Mayaka said he had taken time off to address the issues around the sex allegations.
“Guys,” he said in the email seen by Business Today, “I have taken leave from the office to address for the next couple of weeks to address my issues at the head office. Kindly work with Apollo and other team members. Enjoy your time.”
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The intern accused Mayaka of threatening her with a pistol after she refused his sexual advances at the Nation Media bureau in Kisumu. The incident allegedly took place early this month.
Sources at Nation indicate Mayaka was handed his dismissal letter by NMG Editor in Chief Tom Mshindi, who was forced to fire someone considered his close ally at the Twin Towers.
While Mayaka strongly defended himself against the charges, saying they were malicious and false, being fired has raised eyebrows. He even said he never owns a gun. “The claims are being pushed by dark forces with the aim of having me removed from job. I am being framed up,” he said earlier.
The Nation has not made public the findings of its investigations into the incident, but getting rid of the editor could be an indication of the nature of details that may have emerged. Sources said investigators found strong evidence against the editor, including text messages.