By Our Reporter
Twenty employees of The Standard newspaper have been sacked , including senior editorial staff over allegations of non-performance, scandals and massive financial loses in the floundering Mombasa Road-based giant.
In addition, the media is expected to reshuffle some of its managing editors.
Among the causalities are Senior Editor in Charge of Production Otuma Ongalo, Foreign Editor Andrew Kemboi, Mombasa Bureau Chief Ngumbao Kithi, Kisumu Bureau Chief Anderson Ojwang, sports journalist Benjamin Waindi, online editor Rosemary Nzioka and Administration Officer Peter Murigi.
Several sources erupted in anger, criticizing the Standard Group management for sacking Kithi, who is suffering from a massive cardiac problem.
A few years ago, he underwent a heart surgery in Kenyatta National Hospital. “This is unfair. How can Standard Group sack a man with a cardiac problem. We call upon the management to just reinstate him in his job. How is he going to survive without a job and he is sick,” a source in the group lamented
At the same time court reporter Evelyn Kwamboka has sent to manage Kisumu Bureau and Parliament reporter David Ochami was deployed to manage Mombasa, one of the most important bureaus in the Kenyan political circles.
In addition, the newspaper sacked five designers, touching off a firestorm of criticism. “There is a crisis in the design and graphics and yet the the newspaper has fired five of the best designers,” said a source.
These sackings have left panic in the newspaper, which has was founded in 1902, but has seen its fortunes plummet in the recent years, paving the way for several online news portals and other alternative weeklies. Media critics poured scorm in the latest move. “This is the bullshit of working in the Kenyan media, you never know when you will be kicked out of the company,” Mwangi Ngamate explained from the Cayman islands.
Early this month, the Jackal News reported that Standard group had plunged into pre-election engineering, effecting some of the most unnecessary, perhaps panic-driven changes in senior editorial. We also warned that there were fears of a Tsumani in Mombasa road.
In an earlier reshuffle, Woka Nyawoka was deported from Managing Editor, Weekend Editions and shipped to the Kwashiorkor-ridden County Weekly, paving the way for lackluster Fred Mbugua, who was plucked from the less-prestigious Deputy Managing Editor, Daily Editions.
Experienced Ben Agina was elevated to Senior Associate Editor, Weekend, perhaps to lend a hand to Mbugua, sources claim, explaining that the move was a vindication for Agina who was once news editor.
As a result of a recent 19-25 percent plunge in company overall profits, occasioned by systemic failures in KTN, sources said next time manager are swinging their machete in the television channel that was once the pride of independent TV, but is now a shadow of its former self.
But for now, the major focus in the newspaper, the main pillar of the group since they fear spending so much money on the TV could be counter-productive.