Nation Media Group has finally fired Denis Galava (above), the editor who wrote a hard-hitting editorial on Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr Galava, who was suspended on January 6th, 2016, was fired today for “not following due process and endangering the group’s business.” Mr Galava’s suspension had touched off a major storm online and social media and even attracted the attention of international media such as BBC.
The sacking brings to an end speculation over his fate at Nation Centre and deals a major blow to Nation Media Group’s reputation as an independent media house.
Galava, the Managing Editor for Special Projects, had been suspended over the editorial on January 2, said to have been written without following procedure.
“I have just received my termination letter from the media house, the reason being I did not follow procedures while publishing the editorial,” he said on Wednesday.
The letter was signed by Editor-in-Chief Tom Mshindi and the Human Resources manager.
Galava noted that he has written tens of editorial pieces for Nation Media Group, including one before his suspension, without having to follow any procedures.
“I have penned more than 100 editorials and did not need guidance or any form of procedure before they were ready, so it is shocking when they talk of my not following editorial procedures or policy,” he said.
“I actually learned of the said procedures in the suspension and termination letters given to me.”
The editorial criticised Uhuru’s administration and touched on the issues of unemployment, economic stagnation, corruption and poor leadership.
The media house had denied suspending Galava saying the editor had only been asked to take some time off work.
“The editor has been asked to take some time off so that we can discuss how he handled an important and delicate assignment,” shindi had said.
Two former NMG editors had criticised Galava’s suspension saying it could have been “handled quietly and internally”.
Macharia Gaitho, former Special Projects ME, said the suspension would prove more damaging than the original offence as it has served to reinforce the view that the media house is pro-government; a perception NMG has long fought to lose.
“Never in the history of the Nation has an individual responsible for a leader been publicly outed. As it is, action taken against an individual has doubly exposed Nation Media Group,” Gaitho said via Facebook on Wednesday.
Charles Onyango-Obbo, former Convergence ME at NMG, also expressed dissatisfaction with the manner in which the issue was handled.
“It’s like punishing the guitar for a bad song,” he said
Meanwhile here is how one pundit captured it on Facebook:>>
Two hours ago, Jubilee Administration managed to weed out one of ‘dissident’ voices from the media. Mr. Dennis Galava, a renowned journalist and writer was given his matching orders from the NMG. He was shown the door for piecing together the truth that lit fire in the President’s stomach. Jubilee mandarin could not handle the hit that was the truth in Mr. Galava’s opinion three weeks ago. He spoke what many people in the media cannot do. The truth was so bitter that the President and his men could not absorb. Today, the so called ‘top media’ in Kenya handed him his ‘termination of service’ letter. Today, the truth has set Galava out of employment. But the fact remains, Truth is Truth.