Media Personalities Who Have Been Fired Over Politics

  • Left to right: Kenyan journalists Peter Opondo, Ndung'u Gichane and Njogu wa Njoroge.
    Left to right: Kenyan journalists Peter Opondo, Ndung'u Gichane and Njogu wa Njoroge.
    File
  • As the political season sets in, a wave of alignments are beginning to rock the country with journalists as well as media practitioners caught in the melee.

    Whereas some media houses have directed journalists who want to vie for political seats to step aside, those whose political interests do not align with those of their employers have found themselves on the firing line.

    Some have been dismissed for booking political guests from rival camps while others were shown the door over critical coverage of certain political leaders.

    Here is a list of six journalists who were fired over political leanings:

    1. Peter Opondo

    File image of veteran journalist Peter Opondo
    File image of veteran journalist Peter Opondo
    Twitter

    In July 2021, 6 months after his hiring to a managerial level, Standard Media's Strategy and Content Editor Peter Opondo was relieved of his duties.

    Insiders told Kenyans.co.ke at the time that Opondo was allegedly an ally of Deputy President William Ruto and an interview he organised for the station landed him in a hot soup.

    He noted that prior to his sacking, he had been given an option to resign but he turned it down and that in a career spanning 20 years, Standard was the only media house to sack him for 'unsatisfactory performance'.

    "Sometimes we don't always see things the same way and some things are just meant to be. So I wish all of you well as you continue with the transformation journey," he noted at the time.

    2. Njogu wa njoroge

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    Njogu wa Njoroge at Kameme TV studios on June 26, 2020
    Instagram

    On January 24, 2022, reports emerged from Kameme FM that one of their star presenters Njogu wa Njoroge, had been sent packing.

    The journalist told Kenyans.co.ke that he was notified of his termination via a phone call from the station's management and linked the dismissal to him joining the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

    "I received a phone call from the Programs Controller, who asked me not to report to work, permanently. It is because of my affiliations, nothing else. I would have resigned to go and concentrate on politics," he stated.

    The media personality is in the race for the Njoro parliamentary seat.

    3. Dennis Galava

    Former NMG Journalist Dennis Galava.
    Former NMG Journalist Dennis Galava.
    File

    Dennis Galava was making the right moves careerwise in 2016 but the axe abruptly fell on him following a critical op-ed he authored against the Head of State.

    In the editorial piece, Galava addressed President Uhuru Kenyatta directly over how his government had responded to national crises in 2015.

    A few days after it ran, Galava was suspended because he hadn’t “followed the correct procedure” before publishing the piece and his contract was terminated immediately.

    "Just been fired over the editorial I wrote in the Saturday Nation on January 2," Galava announced his unceremonious exit on January 20, 2016.

    4. Chacha Mwita

    Two years before Galava was shown the door, another star journalist, attached Standard Media, was unceremoniously kicked out.

    Mwita had in 2014 been accused of running a front page story claiming that President Uhuru splashed Ksh100 million on a four-day retreat at Mt. Kenya Safari Club.

    He filed a suit arguing that the then Standard CEO Sam Shollei humiliated him by asking guards to eject him from the building.

    “The acts caused me and my family to suffer mental and financial anguish since I am unable to seek alternative employment due to lack of recommendation from the company.

    "Despite informing them of my intention to sue, the company refused to address the issues I raised,” stated Mwita.

    5. Ndung'u Gichane

    Former Nation Media Group journalist Ndung'u Gichane
    Former Nation Media Group journalist Ndung'u Gichane
    Daily Nation

    In March 2020, former Nation journalist Ndung'u Gachane found himself in a fix after he penned a story touching on Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i.

    In an interview with Kenyans.co.ke at the time, Gachane noted that he had been sent to cover an event at Gekoigo, Maragwa in Murang'a but a number of high-ranking government demanded a specific angle covered.

    "I have been working with [Daily] Nation on a one-year renewable contract. Two weeks ago, the CS was in Murang'a with his colleagues who were inspecting various development projects and they prepared for President Uhuru Kenyatta's visit later this month.

    "I was also tasked by editors to write about Peter Kenneth's views about the BBI. The following day was Saturday, unfortunately, none of the two stories were published. The only thing published was a photo of Peter Keneth. That was where the heat came from.

    "The CS called and complained that 'one of your correspondents in Murang'a has been paid.' In this matter, I was not told who called. Shortly after receiving a call from a senior editor, a lady (from The CS's office) who asked me 'where is the story'. I told her that I had not seen the newspaper," recounted the journalists.

    Later, he was shown the door in what he claimed was an influence from high-ranking officials.