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Drama as police block memorial race in honour the late Samuel Kamau Wanjiru

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There was drama in Nyahururu on Tuesday as police were called in to stop a race meant to honour fallen runners.

Athletes had already travelled from as far as Eldoret, Kericho, Molo and Nairobi ready for the 10km race when police declared Nyahururu stadium, where the race was to end, out of bounds.

Athletics Kenya vice President and director of competition, Paul Mutwii had on Monday warned of a stern action against the Laikipia County AK if the unauthorised race was held.

The memorial race in honour of the first Kenyan to win Olympic marathon gold medal, the late Samuel Kamau Wanjiru and other athletes was to start at Maili Saba on the Nyahururu-Rumuruti road and end at the stadium where invited musicians and preachers were to take over the fete.

But police arrived at the stadium where the runners were converging to be ferried to the starting venue and ordered everybody out and the gates to be closed.

Former 800m world beater, Billy Konchella was among the first retired athletes to arrive in Nyahururu at the weekend for the final touches of the banned race.

Sources said AK fear that the alliance between Amani Foundation, Professional Athletes Association of Kenya (PAAK) and the retired athletes could snowball into a mass movement and eventually overwhelm the federation that has in the past faced onslaught from the two athletics stakeholders.

PAAK and retired athletes have been pushing for reforms in the Athletics body, to give runners more say in the management of the sport.

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Its official! Jalang’o to replace Andrew Kibe at Kiss 100

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Forme Milele FM and Comedian Felix Odwuor aka Jalang’o has conformed that he is replacing Andrew Kibe at Kiss 100.

Speaking to Andrew Kibe on his Bonga na Jalas YouTube series, the comedian confirmed he had been given an offer from Kiss 100 to co-host the Kiss Breakfast alongside radio queen Kamene Goro.

He added that he will begin working on Monday next week.

“Yes I’m taking over your job. This job is mine and you are handing it over to me and I didn’t know that you are leaving, and I didn’t fire you.

“You left yourself and I have been given an offer to take over your spot…. Guys Monday next week, Kamene and Jalas,” said Jalang’o.

Speaking on his exit from Kiss 100, Andrew Kibe said that as soon as Covid-19 hit, he had a misunderstanding with his boss at Radio Africa.

“This is what happened, just when Covid hit mimi na mdosi wangu tukakosana na unajua mdosi wangu ni nani. Huyu msee aliniangalia na madharau,” stated Kibe.

He also mentioned that he gave a three months’ notice which elapsed on June 30, 2020 because the job did not make any sense to him anymore.

“I had to give a three month notice and say by the time June 30 comes, that’s my last day. I gave the notice while you were still working at Milele.

“Ulikuwa pale kwa hashtag kila asubuhi tuko na wewe Alex and Jalas, Kibe and Kamene mimi nikaenda nikasema I don’t want this job anymore it doesn’t make any sense to me,” explained Andrew Kibe.

He added that no one knew he was leaving, including his co-host and longtime friend Kamene Goro who got to know of the development a few days to his final day.

“You didn’t know. I didn’t tell anybody anything. I didn’t reveal even to Kamene amekam kujua juzi tu, she is devastated but she knew just the other day,” added Kibe.

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Business

VIDEO: Turmoil, panic at Nation Media Group as hundreds receive termination letters

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Mass lay-offs at Nation Media Group began Thursday in earnest with preliminary reports indicating deep cuts touching on a number of senior editors and managers.

Reports  paint a ruthless restructuring that will leave Nation Centre numb for some time.

Long-serving and one of the most recognizable NTV news anchors, Ken Mijungu was among the first people in the Broadcasting Division to be shown the door.

Today, the process started with the newspaper section, where 40 journalists are targeted, and management before it moves to NTV tomorrow. The big casualties so far  include Nation Newspaper Division Managing Director Francis Munywoki, partnerships & projects manager and long-serving education editor David Aduda, Business Daily Managing Editor Ng’ang’a Mbugua and Daily Nation News Editor Francis Wanyonyi Wambilianga.

Twin Tower bloodbath

Also picked on the first day of staff reorganization are editions editor Mark Agutu, agriculture editor Julius Sigei, Gabriel Chege of IT, Veronica Chirchir (HR), output editor Joe Mbuthia, Martin Mwangi (Deputy Chief Sub Editor) and Revise Editor Henry Gekonde. Nancy Ogutu, Peter Choge and Momanyi Maosa from the online department/ Nation Digital have also been shown the door.

David Aduda, who previously worked as editorial manager, is among editors who have negotiated an exit package through which they will be contracted to offer critical editorial services under NMG’s new outsourcing model.

Others are George Omondi (Business Daily, Section Editor) and Eldoret regional editor (bureau chief) Jeremiah Kiplagat. Ng’ang’a Mbugua was among editors who got promoted in January 2019, moving from Daily Nation to Managing Editor of Business Daily. Joe Mbuthia had been hoisted Production Editor/Head of Production to output editor.

Peter Choge together with Momanyi Maosa are said to have been on contracts as online sub-editors which expired and have not been renewed.

In Finance, Alex Shikami, a Senior Internal Auditor, has been kicked out. Munywoki joined NMG in November 2017 from Standard Group and had been hoped to reengineer the newspaper section to make it more profitable. Instead, the newspaper division, NMG’s flagship and cashcow, has been losing business by the week, cutting revenues and profitability.

The 40 editorial staff will continue receiving their letters up to next week. It is understood that some of people affected, especially younger ones, will be recalled starting August to work on contracts, according to discussions in yesterday’s zoom meeting. The Group is targeting to lay off over 100.

Curiously, most affected employees are male, online with NMG Group Editorial Director Mutuma Mathiu’s promise, last year, to “protect ladies” as much as he could, someone familiar with this assertion told BT.

Interesting changes are on the newsdesk. Inside Nation Centre rumors last year were that the newsdesk was dominated by Luhya editors. It’s not clear whether this happened by design or coincidence. A plan, it seems, was crafted to correct that anomaly and enhance ethnic balance on the desk. The desk has so far lost Bernard Namunane, Peter Leftie (who has since returned to The People), Lucas Barasa (now with Mandera County Government), and now Wanyonyi Wambilianga, all from the Luhya ethnic extraction. Wambilianga is said to have fallen out with Daily Nation Managing Editor Pamela Sittoni.

Now Harrison Misiko remains the only editor from the Luhyia community on the desk, although he is an assistant news editor. With Wambilianga’s exit the newsdesk has been left with only Misiko, after Dave Opiyo landed a job as Director Communications at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in April this year.

The NMG editorial leadership was forced to recall Misiko who was working from home, early today, to come and man the desk, after Wambilianga was laid off.

The management says it is re-engineering the Nation Media Group to accelerate its digital transformation. In this new model, it will utilize technology more and cut down on human resource.

Those affected will receive counselling support, while those stationed outside Nairobi will be offered relocation assistance. Also, the laid-off staff will receive medical cover for a period of two months until August 31, 2020, in a rare show of magnanimity.

Thereafter, the company has negotiated a medical insurance scheme through its current provider which those affected may opt to individually join.

The layoff comes at a very tricky time when most media houses are offloading employees to survive the Covid-19 pandemic disruption. Already Mediamax has sent home nearly 100, while Royal Media Services is restructuring in a low-profile style. Standard Group is waiting for the whistle.

Small is beautiful

Suddenly, small is beautiful for a big media house with operations across East Africa.

NMG, hoping to ride the tech wave made more popular by stay-at-home protocols for stemming the spread of Covid-19, is betting big on mobile delivery of its journalism products and advertising. “This new reality necessitates the reengineering of Nation Media Group to accelerate its digital transformation,” the company’s CEO Stephen Gitagama said in a circular to staff on 1st July 2020.

“In this journey, the group seeks to be innovative, agile and adaptive with the objective to take up leadership in the mobile publishing landscape in Africa while passionately living our mission to positively transform society, by creating new value and generating quality, differentiated and engaging content to consumers, however, wherever and whenever they need it.”

The company will be concentrating its investment and human resources on new areas critical for growth. Inevitably, this will result in merging and scrapping of some sections which will in turn lead to a reduction of its workforce. “This is an extremely difficult decision in view of the prevailing circumstances,” he said.

Insiders say the company is targeting to offload more than 100 employees across its operations in East Africa, though Kenya will bear the biggest shave. Mr Gitagama says the exercise will be carried out with utmost due respect to our employees and within the Kenyan laws. “We will strive to provide all the necessary support to help them manage the transition,” he said.

Moving to Mombasa Road

Nation Media Group operates print, broadcast and digital media outlets in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania, with operations in print, broadcast and digital media.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has destabilized most businesses globally, including in Kenya. Many companies have either shutdown or substantially scaled down operations due to the drastic decline in revenues. The media industry in the country has severely been impacted.

NMG will be permanently adopting a work-at-home model implemented in March to ensure social distancing at the workplace, where a section of its workers have been working away from the office permanently.

Having some workers sacked and others working from home will reduce pressure on office space, allowing it to cut down on rent at the iconic Nation Centre, owned by its sister company Property Development Management (PDM). The board and management are considering moving the NMG offices from the city centre to its Mombasa Road printing press premises.

While a financially prudent move, working from home and away from the city centre comes with its share of challenges. Standard Group tried the out-of-town model but was forced to relocate back to the CBD after experiencing delays in getting to story subjects and press conferences. Working at home might spring coordination issues especially for reporters who are required to be ever mobile.

The media industry is keenly watching how the virtual office model will be implemented by NMG and which, indeed, it will cut cost and enhance its mobile transformation.

FULL CIRCULAR

Nation Media Group

Media of Africa for Africa

To All Staff-NMG Kenya 1st July, 2020

RE: REORGANISATION

Dear Colleagues,

I trust you are keeping well and staying safe while observing the Ministry of

Health protocols on prevention of COVID-19 pandemic.

In my last communication, | stated how the COVID-I9 pandemic has resulted in global uncertainty and unprecedented challenges impacting most businesses adversely. As you are aware, many companies have either shutdown, substantially scaled down operations or re-engineered themselves due to the drastic decline in revenues. Globally, the media sector has not been spared by the pandemic and media houses including NMG, having been severely impacted.

During this period, management has undertaken several cost-saving interventions to enable business continuity, ensure sustenance of livelihoods of staff and their dependents and continue delivery of services to our customers. However, despite taking these key actions, the business has continued bearing the brunt of the pandemic.

In view of the current adverse impact on business performance, the temporary salary reduction will be extended to 31 December 2020. This unavoidable action will be reviewed depending on the company’s performance and as the COVID-19 situation evolves. Individual letters will be sent to the affected employees.

Further, this new reality necessitates the re-engineering of NMG to accelerate the Group’s digital transformation. In this journey, the Group seeks to radically change its business model from print advertising and physical reader copy to digital advertising, ePaper subscription and content-driven reader revenue with the objective of establishing leadership in the mobile publishing landscape in Africa while exploring other new revenue streams in the experiential and technology space.

This will require re-tooling and resourcing the Group with relevant skill sets critical for success in the new business environment. Regrettably, this will result in a reduction of our workforce effective Friday, July 3, 2020.

It is an extremely difficult decision in view of the prevailing circumstances and we understand the impact this will have on those affected and their families. The exercise will be carried out with utmost respect to our affected colleagues and in adherence to the Kenyan labour laws. We will strive to provide the necessary support to help exiting staff manage this difficult transition.

We have made special arrangements for those affected to receive counselling support. Colleagues stationed outside of Nairobi who are affected will be offered relocation assistance. The affected staff will receive medical cover for a period of two months until August 31, 2020. Thereafter, the company has negotiated a medical insurance scheme through its current provider which those affected may opt to individually join.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to speak with your line manager or contact Human Resources Department.

Stephen Gitagama

GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER,

Nation Media Group

 

-Businesstoday.co.ke

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Entertainment

Here’s Kambua’s advice to women battling infertility

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Kambua

Award-winning gospel singer-songwriter, Kambua Mathu has penned a reassuring message to women who are struggling to get babies.

Kambua’s message is personal as she went through the same experience for years.

In previous posts, Kambua revealed how she was mocked for not bearing a child after her wedding.

“God put you heavy on my heart today because this is a journey I know only too well. A journey of pain, loss, despair, but also, a journey of hope. See the odds were against me too. But God had the final say. All it takes is one move from him,” she wrote.

Kambua’s latest message was also directed to women who after carrying the pregnancy to full term walk home empty-handed after losing their children in the delivery rooms.

“I am thinking about the woman who finally got a miracle conception, heard the heartbeat, and then learned that there was a complication- no more cardiac activity. I am thinking about the woman who went full term, laboured, and brought forth a beautiful baby, perfect, only that they didn’t cry; they didn’t make it to this side of the earth,” she said.

Kambua further advised the women to trust in God as it only takes one move from him to make things right.

“I am thinking about you because sometimes it seems as though nobody does. God put you heavy on my heart today because this is a journey I know only too well. A journey of pain, loss, despair, but also, a journey of hope. See the odds were against me too. But God had the final say. All it takes is one move from him. I pray that you see with the eyes of faith that your miracle is closer than ever. I don’t know how God will do it. Maybe naturally like he did for me, maybe IVF like he’s done for others, maybe through the beautiful path of adoption, or perhaps surrogacy… I don’t know. What I do know is that He is a covenant keeper. And he will keep his promise to you.💝,” she ended her post.

BY Nairobi News

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