Ebru TV in Heated Pay Dispute With Benji Ndolo

A studio at Ebru TV Offices (left) and political analyst Benji Ndolo
A studio at Ebru TV Offices (left) and political analyst Benji Ndolo.

UPDATE Wednesday January 6: Ebru TV said it had fired outspoken political analyst Benji Ndolo.

In a statement, the broadcaster which is under Everest Production Corporation Kenya Limited indicated that Ndolo was shown the door for gross misconduct.

Ndolo dismissed the claim noting that he had quit on his own terms.

Political analyst and activist Benji Ndolo is embroiled in a heated dispute with his employer Ebru TV over a pay cut the he allegedly suffered after testing positive for Covid-19.

Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke on Wednesday, January 6, Ndolo claimed that he had put up with harassment at the station accusing the station's manager, Anab Mohamed, of mistreating her employees.

"We have had a lot of issues. There is a big problem and it is also in many companies caused by the high level of unemployment. They cut pay without explanation, overwork people, issue warning letters, fire people and mistreats interns.

"In my case, when I got Covid-19, she cut my pay. She is also abusive and discriminatory. How do you have an employee who comes back from recovery, then you cut his pay? Many Kenyans choose to keep quiet but for me, I will fight for my rights," Ndolo asserted, saying he will be suing the station.

Political analyst Benji Ndolo
Political analyst Benji Ndolo.

Reached for comment, the HR department at Ebru TV, told Kenyans.co.ke that Ndolo had been hired on a non-payment basis and received pay per appearance. 

The broadcaster further maintained that Ndolo had been paid for all his service hours since October and only hosted one show in December. They also denied having knowledge of Ndolo's Covid-19 diagnosis which he had shared on social media platforms. 

"He was paid for broadcasts he did in October. He did not work in November and December, he did one show for which he was paid. He did not tell us he had tested positive for Covid-19. There was no official communication to us. He claimed he had shared (the information) on Twitter." added the station.

"Benji Ndolo is not our permanent employee. I can send you his contract and it is clear that he is paid per show hosted. In November, we just called him when we had a guest for a show that he was doing. The rest of the time he would just come to the show as a guest.

They added that the reduced pay was a result of reduced appearances by the activist and not related to his health status. 

"We stopped most of the shows because of Coronavirus," the company representative indicated. 

A HR officer at the station threatened to file a suit against the activist arguing that when he visited the office on Tuesday, their interactions nearly turned physical.

In response, Ndolo denied that there was an assault at the station revealing that the confrontation only involved raised voices.

"I concede that I was very angry. What annoyed me is that they are used to people just keeping quite. There was no assault, there was no police report. I respect the law. There were only raised voices."

He noted that the issue was not unique to Ebru TV arguing that most media houses in the country mistreated people but most kept quite for fear of their firing.

The former US-based realtor vowed to file a suit seeking damages over what he termed as unfair treatment at the work place.

Ndolo had worked at the station for a year and contracted the virus in October 2020.

A studio inside Ebru TV offices
A studio inside Ebru TV offices.
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