Close to 40 journalists working with Sasa Radio have allegedly gone on strike over what they call ‘unpaid salaries’.
The scribes, who report for the Bungoma-based station, claim they have gone more than six months without pay.
A reporter who spoke to Wakajuanes.Com on condition of anonymity said the strike commenced at 6.30pm on Friday with a scheduled meeting with the boss failing to take off.
Sasa Radio is associated with comedian, actor and comedian James Chanji popularly known as Mshamba.
Here is an inbox from one of the affected reporters.
“We have gone on strike [todsy] around 6:30pm. This is after the presenters have gone for months without pay.
Some presenters have stayed for over 4 months now without salary. Infact since the radio started, about 4 presenters have contracts with the radio. The rest don’t have and don’t even know how much they should be paid, this has les (sic) the station manager MSHAMBA (James Chanji) ending up giving the rest of the presenters handouts of about 2k after 2 or 3 months.
Most of the presenters dont even know how much they earn since they were not given contracts as it is supposed to be.
Today there was supposed to be a meeting at 2PM which was rescheduled to 4pm but as presenters were gathering the manager was not seen, when tried to be contacted he only said – there is meeting and if anyone insists abaki hapo na nikikuja sitabembelezana naye – translated as “there’s a meeting and if anyone insists, should remain there and I will not sugar-coat them!
It is after this when the presenters said enough is enough. We wont work until we are paid our dues and everyone to have a contract.
This comes 8 months only after the radio was started and still a bigger fraction of the presenters dont know how much they are paid.
Presenters are supposed to report at 8am to 4pm in the morning though others who work in the production have bo definite time since they report even at 6am and end up leaving around 10pm in the evening daily since they do the most critical part of the radio, they are the backbone of the radio, without them then there us no radio.
It is not known when the workers will be back to work.
This may affect tomorrow’s programmes of SABATO presented by LAGAT, REGGAE JUNCTION by DJ KAHI, MISAKATO YA SPOTI by DAN KWOBA and KEFFAS FERDINAND, SALAAMS by MAASAI MOJA.”
But when contacted, Mshamba told Wakajuaness: “People are not on strike. There are people who wanted to insight others but [I] have dealt with it. Let me call you in short while.”
Sasa Radio was launched early this year and is a sister station to TV Magharibi.
According to one of the reporters, Mshamba allegedly put them on probation for three months since April after qualifying from their interviews.
Even before we published this story, the comedian allegedly removed some of the reporters and crew from the Station’s staff WhatsApp group where he is an admin. Eeeishh!!!
Three months later, the Director asked them to volunteer for another three months on probation which ended in October last month.
This comes barely two weeks after another popular media company Media Max laid off close to 150 staff citing hard economic times.
Is the world becoming tougher for Kenyan journalists? Who will save our journalists in Kenya?