NAIROBI – Citizen Television associate editor Alex Chamwada is resigning from the firm to become the media spin doctor of a businessman seeking the post of governor for Nairobi County, according to a report by The Jackal News. But terrified Royal Media Services owner, S. K. Macharia, his wife Gathoni and group CEO Waruru Wachira are pushing him to stay.
This could deal a big blow to the top TV channel especially at a time the country is gearing for political campaigns. Chamwada is leaving to manage the campaign of Evans Kidero, Mumias Sugar Company managing director who is leaving his post too to run for the governor of Nairobi Country, the source said. ”We understand that Chamwada is leaving. He is resigning today to join Kidero’s campaign. Attempts to have him change his mind are almost fruitless,” the source told the Jackal News.
Another source added that top managers are now involved to keep their political jewel. Moments after the Jackal News broke the stop, Royal Media Services swung into action to have him stay, several sources said. “He has been shuttling from office to office meeting the big boys here,” a source explained, adding that he could stay if the management hikes his salary considerably since, Kidero, could still afford him a higher pay.
Chamwada’s possible exit is likely to upset Citizen Television and its news manager Farida Karoney, who recently lost news editor Peter Opondo who left for Uganda. In an attempt to fill Opondo’s position, Karoney sought to hire ex-Standard writer Nixon Ng’ang’a, who rejected the offer at the last minute, after his employer, Ahmed Isaack Hassan at the electoral commission prevailed. Chamwada is held in high esteem in news circles and his reporting is considered sober and literate.
His years of experience in news from years at KTN and now Citizen Television put him in a league of prolific journalists. It is not exactly clear why he is leaving Citizen Television. A close contact however said it was because he was uncomfortable with the salary Janet Mbugua is being paid, yet he was doing most of the ”donkey work”. Mbugua, an average newsreader, is being paid about Ksh 800,000 shillings a month, almost twice what Chamwada is thought to be paid, Jackal News understands.
”I think he asked for a pay review but that came to naught. I think he thought he could not return to KTN or go to any other media house, so I told him join an international channel,” a friend who spoke to Jackal News today said. For the past three years, Chamwada hold has been Citizen TV’s associate editor, basically in charge of special programmes and features.
He previously worked as KTN reporter before rising through the ranks to become politics editor, and later, news editor. He holds a masters in politics and mass media from Liverpool University, post-graduate diploma in mass communication from the University of Nairobi and a BSC in Information Science from Moi University. Kidero hails from Rangwe Constituency in Homa-Bay.
He is a skilled business executive. He is also a staunch ODM supporter thought to be close to Raila Odinga. Jackal News will keep updating this story with latest developments.