NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 1 – Employees at the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation pressed on with their strike on Thursday and declared they would not be cowed by sacking threats.
The more than 300 employees camped outside the Broadcasting House where they pushed on with their strike demands.
“We are not going to be intimidated with the sack notice issued by the managing director. The strike is still on and if you doubt, go and watch our television, there is no news at all,” one employee said.
A TV anchor Njambi Koikai who read a press statement to journalists said they would not be intimidated.
“Instead of addressing our grievances, the managing director is using intimidating tactics by terming our strike illegal and threatening to sack those participating in the strike. This is not acceptable,” Koikai said.
“He has even contradicted the Minister for Information who assured Parliament (on Wednesday) that no employee will be victimised for joining in the strike,” Koikai said, speaking on behalf of the striking employees.
The workers said: “It is a pity that the MD has resorted to memos as his best method of communicating to staff.”
They accused the MD, Waithaka Waihenya, “of hiding behind the curtains” since his appointment two years ago because he had never addressed a staff meeting.
“It should be noted that he has never addressed a single staff meeting since his elevation as MD two years ago,” the statement said.
Strike organiser Vincent Lempaa said they would not give audience to any official in the government whose rank is below that of Assistant Minister for Information.
“We are not going to allow anyone else to dilute what the assistant minister said. Even the Permanent Secretary cannot address us about the matter now. It is beyond him,” Lempaa declared and declined to listen to officials from the KBC’s administration department sent by Waihenya to convince them to return to work.
Mary Daraja, who heads a unit within the radio department of KBC, told Capital News the management had failed to a Code of Regulations amended two years ago, that demands that staff be paid according to their new grades.
“That is why the arrears of our allowances and salaries have accumulated to Sh350,000,000. By continuing to serve the station, it means that the amount will continue to accumulate… when will ever be paid,” she posed.