Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family is set to buy Nation Media Group, people familiar with the matter have intimated to Eagle Online.
Nation Media Group (NMG), the biggest and one of the most influential media houses in East and Central Africa, which NMG also owns Monitor Publications Limited in Uganda, the publishers of Daily Monitor, and NTV Uganda, has been bold in speaking truth Mr Kenyatta’s presidency.
Credible sources have told Eagle Online from Nairobi that the deal could have been already concluded but what is holding the rope is the issue of Monitor Publications.
“What is holding the deal is that President Uhuru isn’t interested in the Daily Monitor and therefore, wants Daily Monitor left out,” the sources said.
In corroborating the source’s information, Eagle Online has learnt that indeed two top bosses from NMG are currently in Kampala talking the Daily Monitor shareholders to see how they can carry on the Nairobi deal without necessarily affecting the operations of The Monitor.
President Kenyatta is also reported to have come to Uganda on a private visit last evening, a visit, our source says, was about discussing the NMG deal with local stakeholders.
A commentator who refused to be named for fear of wrongly reading the tea leaves because the deal is yet to be signed, however, interpreted the move as a checkmate in clamping down on critical press.
“The man has the money. It is a classic card of simply buying out the media and silencing it. It is even clear and works for the Kampala government which has been rattled by Daily Monitor’s journalism for a while.
“You buy your control into NGM Nairobi and help your comrade in Uganda by breaking Daily Monitor’s financial spine,” the source said.
Daily Monitor is NMG’s flagship product in Uganda alongside NTV-Uganda.
That Aga Khan, the biggest shareholder in NMG with a 44.7 percentage, is considering selling is not news.
Just last week, February 23, Business Today, a Kenyan news outlet reported that the NMG principal shareholder Aga Kan could be considering divesting from media business in Kenya. According to Business Today, the move that could see him sell off his vast interests in print and broadcasting industries in Kenya.
If the Aga Khan-Uhuru Family deal materializes, it will realign media business in Kenya to give the Uhuru family the biggest control over media in the country, something good for political business.
Already, the family has significant interest in Mediamax Networks.
It is reported, however, that Mr Uhuru is selling of his stakes in Mediamax’s K24 TV and People Daily newspaper to his deputy William Ruto, which means that the President will only be left with Kameme TV and the radio stations, which could merge with the NMG products.