Since 2013 several seasoned journalists of Namuwongo based Daily Monitor were fired or have left in an unannounced retrenchment saga. But this time the ball has shifted to the Nairobi-based head office, and the latest is a former Nation Media Group editor who was sacked for allegedly flouting procedure in the publication of an editorial in the New Year has sued for KSh250 million.
Daily Nation, Kenya’s most sold daily, fired Denis Galava who authored the editorial, ‘Mr President, get your act together this year’ says he was unprocedurally terminated without a benefit package despite being a permanent and pensionable employee. “The termination letter to the claimant dated January 20, 2016 purporting to terminate his employment disingenuously misrepresents that he was on contract,” Galava’s memorandum of claim reads.
“The implication of the immediate termination was that I would receive no benefits or severance pay,” Galava himself states in his verifying affidavit.
Galava who says he received a salary of KSh800,000 per month at the time of his termination and therefore wants the court to award him three months pay in lieu of notice, 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.
To receive, which he would require a finding and declaration of the court that he was, “wrongfully, maliciously and unfairly terminated.”
“The termination of the claimant’s employment in such an acrimonious manner has exposed him to infinite prejudice and is unlikely to be gainfully employed in the only profession that he has trained for and made a career out of,” his memorandum filed by Kemboy and Company Advocates reads.
He has also sued NMG CEO Joe Muganda based in Nairobi for defamation for comparing him with “a bank teller who steals cash” in an interview with the BBC after his suspension over the editorial caused an uproar on social media and called into question the independence of the group.
He claims NMG Editor-in-Chief Tom Mshindi used the opportunity to settle a personal score in retaliation for his refusal to play ball in “insidious power games.”