6 Media Personalities Who Had Bitter Fallouts With Employers

  • A collage of a TV and Radio Studio.
    A collage of a TV and Radio Studio.
  • Any workplace is bound to go through changes from time-to-time and this includes employees leaving the company.

    The media industry in Kenya has not fallen short of controversies and legal battles. These six media personalities were embroiled in bitter fallouts with their former employers which had an impact on their careers.

    Whether positive or negative, the personalities in this list have never shied away from talking about the lessons they learnt and urging young people to learn from their mistakes and also take chances in life.

    1. Caroline Mutoko 

    Arguably one of the most influential media personalities over the last two decades, Caroline Mutoko started her journey in media at Capital FM. During an interview with Cleaning The Airwaves, Mutoko revealed that she was once sued by Capital FM after she served notice and left the company for Kiss 100.

    A file image of media personality Caroline Mutoko
    A file image of media personality Caroline Mutoko

    The media personality recalled that she decided to leave Capital FM and join the newly launched Kiss 100 but her former bosses would not take it lightly.

    According to the celebrated media personality, Capital FM wrote a letter to Kiss 100 which is owned by Radio Africa Group and informed her lawyer that she should not be allowed to go on air since she posed a threat to her former employer.

    After she went on air, narratives made rounds that she could not be successful, to an extent of advertisers being incited against her by her former employers.

    Mutoko, however, rose to the challenge and her morning show on Kiss 100 ruled the airwaves for close to two decades.

    2. Louis Otieno 

    In the early 2,000s, Otieno was a household name that was emulated by every journalist due to his eloquence and star-styled presentation model.

    He recalled how he once challenged his former employer after the introduction of a certain dress code for news personalities. Otieno scoffed at the company's top brass terming the move as inconsequential to the business.

    Otieno stated that he never comprehended why the media house wanted to procure suits and dresses for the news anchors to wear only when they were going on air and then return them afterwards.

    He stated that due to his outspoken nature, some of his bosses struggled to accept him while others worked to sabotage him and have him sacked.

    Former KTN anchor Louis Otieno
    Former KTN anchor Louis Otieno.
    The Standard

    “My bosses tried to get me off-air so many times. I thank Kenyans because many times I remained on air because of pressure from them,” he recalled.

    When he was linked to the death of university student, Careen Kipchumba, Otieno was abandoned by his employer and friends, something that affected his health leading to prolonged hospital visits. He had a tough time getting jobs and that is when it dawned to him that he had been blackballed from the industry.

    3. Jeff Koinange

    After announcing his resignation from K24 TV, the acclaimed journalist was involved in a legal battle with the TV station. Jeff left the station in 2012 after five years of service.

    He was asked to pay Ksh3.9 million to his employer three months after his resignation for leaving without serving notice.

    Jeff, who had landed a lucrative job with a South African television station, initially offered to clear the money claimed by Mediamax with a single check.

    4. Andrew Kibe and Kamene Goro

    NRG Radio sued its former breakfast show presenters, Andrew Kibe Mburu and Kamene Goro after they left the station for Kiss 100.

    Reports indicated that Kibe and Goro signed a non-compete clause that restricted them from joining another media house.

    In court documents, NRG Radio stated that the duo did not leave the radio station in a good manner and only gave a three-day notice which violated their contract.

    5. Shaffie Weru 

    Weru was suing his employer for 18 years for wrongful termination.

    Several documents that made rounds on social media indicated that the former radio presenter was seeking at least Ksh21 million in compensation.

    Radio Africa Group also threatened that it would be counter-suing its former Home Boyz programs controller and show host, Shaffie Weru, to a tune of Ksh150 million.

    Media personality Shaffie Weru in his car
    Media personality Shaffie Weru in his car

    6. Denis Galava 

    The former Nation Media Group editor was fired for allegedly disregarding procedure in his work and he later sued his former employer for Ksh250 million.

    Galava, in court documents, stated that he was unprocedural terminated without a benefits package despite being a permanent and pensionable employee.

    He stated that he received a salary of Ksh800,000 per month at the time of his termination and wanted the court to award him three months' pay in lieu of notice.

    The former editor also asked the court to award him the equivalent of one year’s pay for wrongful dismissal, a month’s salary for each year of service, pay for 24.5 days of leave earned, his accrued employer pension contributions, pay for the 19 years he would have worked before retiring at 60, “adjusting for promotion and annual increment”, as well as compensation for lost pension earnings.