, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 16 – 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 Sh250 million.
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.
- 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."
- The failure of his seniors to take his, "above reproach track record," at the company into consideration before they took the decision to terminate him, he contends, further cements his case.
“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 Sh800,000 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 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 contends that he was discriminated against given other editors who were involved in the contentious editorial received slaps on the wrist while he took on the role of sacrificial pawn.
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.”
“I recalled a discussion I had in November with Mshindi when he called me to his office and briefed me about major editorial changes he was planning. I told him the changes he was proposing were too drastic and asked if he had discussed with the CEO and the board.”
“He observed that the CEO was clueless and could not conseptualise how the knowledge industry works. He added casually that Muganda ‘only thought in terms of beer production chains and cigarette vending machines.'”