A Kimeru radio station in Tharaka Nithi has been accused of exploiting upcoming journalists and dumping them after exhausting their use.
The two year old Mwendantu fm owned by an aspiring governor has in those two years lost more than ten talented journalists after the management failed to pay the presenters and reporters or dismissed them for petty reasons.
The radio which took the airwaves by storm early 2019 was believed to bring serious competition to the existing Muuga Fm and Meru fm radio stations but has failed to retain fans due to inconsistency of presenters.
Local comedians who had been brought in to popularize the radio station locally packed their bags and left citing irreconcilable differences with the management.
The managing director Kendi Njeru and another counterpart Daniel Gitonga former camera person KBC have been accused of intimidating field reporters and dismissing them from work via WhatsApp group with no consultation.
“The two will harass a reporter for doing stories concerning an opponent of the owner of the radio with specific orders not to cover Governor Muthomi Njuki, Senator Kithure Kindiki and Women representative Beatrice Nkatha,” said a source.
Many were optimistic when Kendi Njeru who worked for Muuga fm as a correspondent was named the manager of the station having struggled in the field and in the know of the challenges, unfortunately she seemed to have quickly forgotten where she came from.
All her dismissal are dramatic and inhuman as most have been told to just leave when they demand more than three months of their salaries.
In two of the dramatic exits two female journalists cited sexual advances from one of the male managers which led to an ugly exchange via whatsApp and was even shared publicly last year.
“To work there means suffering in silent because you are threatened with being reported to the top guy who commands respect in the County and beyond,” lamented a former presenter.
Most of the former employees have since moved to other media houses while new aspiring ones excitedly join the radio station unaware of what awaits them.
The recent one was one people’s sweetheart Kawira wa Kanini wa Kimandi who was shown the door a day after her dowry negotiation event on grounds that she had covered Governor Muthomi Njuki’s event which was a taboo in the media house.
The lady is termed as one of the most hardworking journalists in the county and was among the few who covered two sub counties alone after they failed to replace a reporter for Chuka Igamba Ng’ombe who was dismissed without pay.
Word on the ground has it that this is a way to frustrate the lady after she joined the university to further her journalism studies which did not go well with someone in the management.
She has now kept herself busy with school and planning for her upcoming wedding in April this year while she scouts for another job.
“The management did not even show support on her dowry event and ensured no one attended only for them to accuse her of covering the Governor’s event a day later, what happened to objectivity in media?” questioned a concerned citizen.
The management is accused of discouraging new reporters from mingling with other experienced journalists in the field on claims that they would be a bad influence but in reality what they did not want is for anyone to know of the archaic way the radio station was being ran.
The owner a university Don seems not to be aware of what is happening in the radio despite the poor performance it is now showing and if he is remains blind and deaf to this situation which demeans journalism as a profession.
Fans have been left wondering what is happening as they keep on hearing new voices on monthly basis.