Kenya: Safaricom notice to Customers: Voice and Data Outage (22.07.2018)
I write what I like.
That Bob Collymore has no returned to Safaricom is a sign of the state of affairs, the man whose through 2016 got the dirty laundry in the streets for everyone to see. That Safaricom and Vodaphone takes him back. Shows that the company is so big, it doesn’t care about public perception or their ordeal of the last two years. As they can get scratch free from the dirt and thinks people forget. Collymore is a shady character and runs a dirty business. However, it is profitable, that is why the leadership above him keeps him. They want the easy money and wants to run the market of telecom’s in Kenya. That is what Safaricom does so well.
That Collymore was directly involved in the General Elections, that his misuse of the company within the Results Transmissions, that doesn’t matter now. That the Safaricom used their backbone to support the Jubilee, by canceling and stopping the M-Pesa Paybill to the National Super Alliance (NASA). Shows the lack of tolerance and their political stance. They did that with passion, while fixing and making sure the fraud of an election went through with their back-channels with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, also with Cambridge Analytica and whatever else that was needed to secure the results into the famous undisclosed server. Collymore did this and fixed that with IEBC, while stopping the cash-flow to NASA. A clear indication of his works. That was the year after the damaging internal report from KPMG.
The KPMG agreement showed how the Safaricom misused their place, their tenders and the procurement of installations of 4G, M-Pesa software and direct dealing with third-parties. This was done in a fashion where the leadership was eating of the top and putting the bills on the consumers. At a rate that was insane. That the 18th February 2016 KPMG Report should mean the end of a career for a leader and CEO like Collymore. But Vodaphone doesn’t give a rats ass. They don’t care as long as their profits are souring in Kenya. They are oblivious and nurturing their pockets, nothing else matters. Even if they are within the pockets of cartels, election-rigging and midst of public outrage. As long as the pockets are filled with shillings, they don’t mind. They can still be proud-cock and be chiefs.
That Safaricom paid of the local-media houses with ad-revenue, that they used their place to keep themselves on top. That doesn’t matter, because the results are blindly positive, even if everyone know knows that the company is run like the mafia. Controlling everything it can, not only selling Mobil-Data, Mobile-Money and Communications, but they are also a FinTech company that has the information on the public that other doesn’t. Who knows how they are using that and misusing that to gain even more profits. When Facebook does it? Why shouldn’t Safaricom too?
That Collymore should be gone, that is the reality, there should be someone who could muster trust and show that its a decent company, not a pillar of power in Kenyan Politics. Which it has become and where it muster all capabilities with the funds to slash stories in the media and also to be directly involved in Results Transmission during the General Elections. Therefore, the importance of the company is beyond communications between the citizens and their data. But also the perception of the trust between them.
Collymore is now the epitome of what is wrong with businesses in Kenya. He is the significant prospect of someone who misuses his position for monetary gain. Instead of being there for just simple services and leave the office in the night. He has directed the company in the midst of public space, making sure his stories are portrayed and cleaning the dirt of his hands. Even if it doesn’t go off, it won’t, not this way.
So Vodaphone, I have one important question:
Where the no-one else on planet earth that have the capabilities to run Safaricom?
Seemingly there should be, but your still behind the man that are really involved in shady deals for you. Taking the dirt and eating it, so that the stakeholders can eat the profits without any questionable
Today, I will write about how international businesses are using their power and their markets strategy, while people are giving up their private communications and other vital information for simple transactions between family and friends, also when borrowing micro-credit or buying solar-cells through credit. This is all based on the Privacy International recently released report and the quotes are taken from there. It shows vital information taken from citizens who uses apps and financial services in their daily lives. Clearly, they have accessed certain freedoms for the trade with these Kenyans. The business transactions and the trade is not only making direct profits for the corporations allowing direct transactions, but also delivering services like payday loans and buying equipment. Still, it has a special price and they have to sign-up to give away certain aspects of their lives to gain this. That is what is interesting because it says something of how much of the personal space these corporations are getting from the persons they are profiting from!
“The term ‘fintech’ has been defined by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as: “a dynamic segment at the intersection of the financial services and technology sectors where technology-focused start-ups and new market entrants innovate the products and services currently provided by the traditional financial services industry.” (Privacy International, P: 10, 2017).
“Yet a change that has not been much explored is that M-Pesa also produces a vast amount of data for the telco Safaricom. Each of the millions of transactions that take place a year tell a story. They tell the story of how the small business is operating: the money they’re sending to their suppliers, the transactions that are taking place. But it tells other stories as well: the money that comes in and then is sent to the hospital. The school fees paid by the biological father, unknown to anyone except the mother, father and Safaricom. But there is also a way in which this data is known by third parties. The transmission of the content of the money transfers over M-Pesa is encrypted. However, the details of any transactions are sent, unencrypted, by plain SMS. Even if M-Pesa transactions themselves are sent via secure and encrypted means, the account information is not. The messages that someone sends for receiving or sending money include the name of the recipient (from the registration of the SIM), the amount sent, and their current balance. This facilitates the gathering of personal data by apps. The fact that the transactions can be tracked becomes a large part of the power of the lenders, as in the Kenyan example, leaves a trail via the M-Pesa SMS messages for both customer and retailer. As shall be illustrated, this is an aspect of M-Pesa of which fintechs are able to take advantage” (Privacy International, P: 29, 2017).
“From the data provided by the app, decisions are made about whether and how people repay their loans. One of the key pieces of data is to analyse the content of SMS messages for the records of M-Pesa payments. These are very valuable records to analyse; for example, if the person seeking a loan has a small business, it is a good measure of the health of the business and the money entering and leaving the business. But, according to Tala, it can also be used to analyse how people are actually using their loans, as frequently the money they receive from Tala will leave someone’s M-Pesa account immediately (for example, to pay school fees or a hospital loan, or an individual). But the analysis of the data by Tala extends beyond this, to make analyses based on data and information that are, at best, unexpected to be used for credit scoring. For example, Tala analyses call logs: their analysis has found that people who make regular calls to family are 4% more likely to repay their loan. To do this analysis, they need to know who your family is: from the content of text messages that call someone “mama”, and the pattern of calls” (Privacy International, P: 30, 2017).
“One difference from Tala is that Branch also makes use of Facebook for authentication; as discussed below, this is allowed under Facebook’s terms and conditions. Another factor that Branch uses for its decision-making is the behaviour of your friends, and their repayment patterns for Branch loans. How does Branch know who your friends are? They have a refer-a-friend feature (as does Tala), which is one source of this data. But they can also see your Facebook friends, and your call log to know who is contacted regularly” (Privacy International, P: 31, 2017).
“The data that M-Kopa gathers from the device via the SIM is information like location (using cell data, not GPS), the charge level in the battery, and what devices are plugged in. They will also soon be gathering data on the television programmes watched. This specific data on programming is not data that it is planning on selling, but rather to use to develop its own services in the future. M-Kopa’s website states that, “After completing payments, customers own the product outright.” However, the customer does not own their data. The terms and conditions of a M-Kopa loan make the company’s position on data clear: “M-KOPA shall have absolute and sole ownership of … the data which is obtained by the Customer’s use of the Device.” Customers have no right to even see their own
data, apart from the provisions under Credit Reference Bureau rules. For M-Kopa, it ultimately comes down to a business decision: “If data privacy was important for the Kenyan consumer, we would do it,” states Chad Larson, the Chief Credit Officer at M-Kopa. At the same time, both M-Kopa and its investors have a viewpoint that their use of data is ethical” (Privacy International, P: 32, 2017).
Control over the data:
“A significant issue with the fintech companies in Kenya, is that they keep access to the data. They keep the data—and, in some cases analyse it, even if the user has stopped being a customer of theirs, and has deleted their app. Branch is explicit that it keeps the data even after a user uninstalls the app, and admits it is possibly doing further analysis on it, “we have that right.” Tala encourages people, even if they have been rejected for a loan, to keep the app; if they do delete it, Tala retains their data. This is so that, if the customer returns later, they can reinstall the app, go through some simple KYC checks, and be able to borrow again. M-Kopa, on the other hand, continues to collect data from the device even after the loan has been repaid” (Privacy International, P: 33, 2017).
Just as this reveals that Safaricom, the partly owned Vodacom Telecom Business have no trouble through the M-Pesa, the Cellphone Mobile-Money Transactions, that they can hold onto all information between all parts of the transactions. Like how a person send the messages of giving money to friend/family and at what point they picking up the mobile-money. This personal data is all incorporated into their apps, as they provide the services and keeps this fintech data on each of their clients.
As we see with the Tala App, which is also used to get loans. Tala analyses the personal SMS’s from the client to either give or not accept proposals for loans from their services. Tala are looking into the M-Pesa messages given to the client and are scanned by the app. To see if the client can actually be able to repay the debt possible sign-off from Tala. This proves that the Tala App is checking the credit history done with the services of M-Pesa, which is Safaricom/Vodacom. Branch another Fintech app is taking it further, they are also analyzing your behavior and who is your refer-friend on Facebook. They are clearly entitled to the private information of your networks before you get a loan. So they know exactly, who and when you contact friends and family on social media before giving you a loan. It shows how personal and how much information on app can get before you get the services needed from them.
M-Kopa are another one, who is directly saying that all information collected from their costumers are their to own and to use for later costumers. It can also be used after the usage. More of these Apps seems to do so. They are keeping this personal data even after the transactions, the loans and the purchase. This can be used to further get clients and knowledge of when the costumers need it more. So they can get them “addicted” to the services. We have no idea how they store this personal data or who they trade it with after gathering it all.
This should all be scrutinized and questioned, as it breaches with personal space collected with marketing and simple ploy to generate enough information to be able to gain the services from the companies. These companies are vultures of the costumers private space and uses it as leverage for their trade.
It is worrying how far they are taking it and how much personal information they are gathering to give them these services. Peace.
Privacy International – ‘Fintech: Privacy and Identity in the New Data-intensive Financial Sector’ (November 2017)
There are days and a fortnight since the unintended release of draft papers on the KPMG Audit report that alleged conspiracy of corruption and illegal tender buying of the central leadership in the Safaricom Limited Kenya. The State-own telecom Company, which are partly owned by the Vodafone as well have entitled themselves into hole because of their leadership. These allegations have not stopped and the press is still just spreading the words of Bob Collymore, not the words of the report and what it really means.
It’s like the KPMG draft report wasn’t released as the biased bought media through the massive war-chest of PR money can silence the Kenyan Media and even create a many Twitter Bots and Social Media bots to try to dismiss the leaker and blogger Cyprian. That is just weak-tea… If you are having trouble with the allegations coming from an internal report, it is time to respect the knowledge that those who have read it, presume they understand the implications and the effects of actions from the Safaricom leaders and what this decisions did with the monies the company profits are used.
The Kenya National Police Service should use their detectives to find out who leaked it to the blogger is nonsense, as the facts and questionable behaviour of the Safaricom leaders should be questioned and briefed, as this thieving is the cardinal sin, not the ones that strawmen spreading it online. It’s like putting the blame on the nail for the existence of plywood for the wall. You need the nail to put the plywood on the wall. The wood is needed to be there before the nail puts it together. The nail is the leak, as the wood was already there for the taking!
That CEO Bob Collymore didn’t want this out, is because Vodafone was asking into the affairs of the business and the model of procurement from Safaricom. The audit from KPMG was certainly not entailed to enter public space, but when your corporate governance is so shady, the dirty laundry would by some time end in the hands of a whistle-blower, apparently, it did.
That Bob Collymore and Safaricom have used the WPP-Scangroup to marketing and PR, so that these issues could go away; as the PR Firm gained a tender worth Ksh. 2.1 billion between December 2013 and January 2014. Certainly their business must be thriving as the closeness between Collymore and their CEO Bharat Thakrar, who even attended the recent wedding of Collymore. That is a bit close relationship between the corporate leaders, isn’t it?
As we can question the media’s view on the release of the KPMG draft report as the Standard Group’s Management Editor Joseph Odindo sent a memo to all editors ordering them to kill any story relating to Safaricom and the KPMG Audit. So when a chief editor says to all of the leaders who picks stories to Publish are dwelling away with the ones connected to Safaricom, that shows again how embedded the Kenyan Press are with the Company. It is not a conspiracy, as this is one of many who are already implicated to shut this story down. And the reason why I write again about it; that is why KTN News only dropped the Safaricom Press Statement, but not questioned a single word in the leaked draft report like they would catch Ebola or a deadly disease by doing so.
What does such a CEO Robert (Bob) Collymore of Safaricom Limited do as a credible leader and business-man to be parts of the Global Compact Board of United Nations for good governance in business, as the Safaricom scandal shows that his hands are dirty and need a clean before he shows etiquette and ethical leadership towards others in words in the United Nations board, as his company is run by single tenders and by close relationships of leaders who have taken orders instead of following companies own procedure for procurement, and that man should give ethical advice in the United Nation board? Dumb-Dumb, part of the leaders who runs the world, aye? Ban Ki-Moon should re-evaluate the board and he may have more corrupted leaders in the United Nations boards, as even Bob Collymore has showed in the paperwork.
The news that inspired me the most was not the connection between media themselves and the Safaricom advertisement money. But that even the fried of Bob Collymore, the other CEO of WPP-Scangroup Bharat Thakrar also attacks the blogger Cyprian, trying to shade him with allegations of working with the rival company Transcend Media Group and the lawyer Mike Njeru. I am just waiting for Tintin, Mr. Smurf and Cinderella to have love-affair. That is as plausible that a blogger Cyprian who writes fiercely with notions of BS, have a connection with other party that Honourable Thakrar claims. Collymore have already used all kind methods to silence the released papers that makes him look foolish, as they have had property deals, tender agreements for M-Pesa another ones that are questionable, together with the level of paying of media and even entering media house with Police Officers to intimidate them for writing about the scandal.
When you goes this far and when you use these methods, even wants to use the police to arrest the man who has not done anything illegal, if it is illegal to write about corruption and violence, then I, myself is a common criminal, therefore that the CID is written up about Cyprian is nonsense, as the Safaricom Limited deals are the shady ones, not the writing about it. That it is not what the CEO Collymore wants, that is understandable as nobody wants their bad tenders or the shady agreements into the public space, therefore the KPMG Audit was not a planned release of information or something that the Safaricom Limited wanted to for-see as the business would rather see without it. That is something we all understand. Still, the Cyprian leak is not his making, it is Safaricom and CEO Collymore has done the bad deals, not the blogger or the media.
So if CEO Bob Collymore wants to be brave now, is to go through the fire and swallow the nonsense and take responsibility of the Huawei, One-Campus and the other deals that was disclosed in the KPMG audit report, though I doubt he has the heart to do so. Why he doesn’t have the heart? Because as pointed out he has used all kind of money and intimidation towards media even to silence the story, while also writing Cyprian up to the CID. That is just showing how wrong from the start of the leak Mr. Collymore has been. If he was a man of fair and justice, if he was a man of honour he would have cleared the agreements and signed tenders with fellow companies to show that he wanted a clean slate after doing corrupt business. Instead he has tried to mute the discussion and laundry in the public. Well, Mr. Collymore you should plea now and stop paying media to cover your dishonesty. This because the papers are leaked and will stay leaked. You cannot go back in time and become Marty McFly, you are a real man Mr. Collymore and the responsibility for Safaricom Limited is in your hands. So now time to take that responsibility and step your game up and stop with them shadow games, you and your PR Team is not good at it. Peace.
There we’re a KPMG Audit leak of the Safaricom Telecom Company in Kenya, which was released through a blogger called Cyprian. He found and released article relating to a Draft Report, that he in the latest twist released on Twitter. Why I comment on it, after even releasing it. It is to brighten the days of the corruption hunters and pundits. To prove that not all writers can be bought. You feel me right? Why I say that because money talks, everybody knows that right?
While this report circulated and even some findings came to the limelight, CEO Bob Collymore we’re able to dodge the release as the blogger had to take down his article and later even send the Blogger direct text message. The blogger got now after this text messages from Red Cross and Inter Religious Council of Kenya. And he have nothing to do with this organizations before, so there are something up with the Safaricom model of the moment.
The Safaricom CEO continues with suspect behavior as even reports of entering Kenyan Media-houses with Police Officers following his tail. When he, the CEO of Safaricom Bob Collymore where he initially threaten them. If they did exposes the maladministration of the company into the society and into the public sphere through the media.
The marked interest for this company is the structure and its importance in Kenya. The Government of Kenya owns 60% of it and the rest is owned by Vodafone, which means 40% of it is in the private interest. The Markie exposure of the company is not only how much having been squash the Audit that we’re unfortunately released, but by what extent the leadership have gone to silence it.
And when a business, a company and their leaders get orders from the “mother-company” to shut the noise, when they order media-houses and threaten them with the Police Officers holding the hands of the CEO; then you know that there are shady people eating the cakes that was not intended to. The Safariacom have even ordered an advertisement operation with ScanGroup for Ksh. 2.1bn and that proves to what extent they goes to bury the legality of the KPMG audit.
The Public Petition of Michael Ngugi that states this:
“That it is unfortunate though that Safaricom is in itself a corrupt institution and as evidenced by the forensic audit report from KPGM which examines the period of September 2013 to August 2015. Copy Enclosed. In this report many instances of malpractices have been cited in regards to tender processes, award and general shortcomings of ethical practice and governance as far as supplier selection and management are concerned” (…)”THAT, Safaricom in contravention of their own Procurement policy as enshrined in their Policies and Procedure manual and use it only selectively to suit selfish interests of some senior staff who collude to defraud the company and deny well deserving Kenyan companies a chance to offer services even after satisfying all the necessary requirements in a tender and emerging victorious. This is an act of impunity and no one in Kenya is above the law, justice must therefore be pursued for the victims for this scheme” (..,)”That I confirm that I am aware that it is not possible to raise any issue regarding Safaricom with any organ, institution or media because Safaricom has corruptly infiltrated all segments of society and used its corporate advising might and huge financial resources to oppress any dissent or complaints”.
There even been more implications between the Media Houses and the Bob Collymore scandal of the KPMG reports as central men in the media have been bribed to silence or not talk about the company in an unfavorable way, these men are for instance Tom Mshindi (Nation Media Group) and Linus Kaiaki (NTV Kenya). So there are many big fishes who are being fried and more to come as the information getting leaked. These men are not alone, as Safaricom even bribed Citizen TV Kenya, who got Ksh. 50m to not highlight the report on the TV screen on the 9th May of 2016.
As an example of the leaked information that Safaricom wants to silence is the M-Pesa Second Generation agreement we’re the report stated this:
“Safaricom partnered with Huawei to upgrade its M-Pesa mobile money payments system, a decision which we were driven by Michael Joseph (Joseph) the previous Chief Executive Officer. We were informed by Donald Twesiga, the former Head of IT Service Operations (Twesiga) that a procurement process had been initiated which included major international vendors, but Joseph singlehandedly settled on Huawei. We were further informed that although the cost of this project was borne largely by Safaricom, it does not retain exclusive use of intellectual property on the project and similar mobile money projects can be rolled out in other territories without any benefits to Safaricom. We were also informed that there was no evidence of negotiation of prices on this project between Safaricom and Huawei”.
When you have agreements like this and there are nobody earning on it, directly the Safaricom company doesn’t earn on an upgrade, but still does it, without even negotiation of prices or have followed procedure of procurement process, it sends signals of direct corruption between the men who has been behind the agreement between Safaricom and Huwei, that can be the case as the levels of transparent procurement for the company and their rules for doing so. That should be even more important by a significant company of this size; the level of government ownership and the state of importance the M-Pesa mobile money have in Kenya alone. Just when you thought M-Pesa was dirty enough, even Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) have reported in recent days that the profits made through M-Pesa mobile money have gone direct to a Tax-Haven so that the Kenyan Government can’t earn the direct tax money on the revenue. Another way of securing higher yields of profits for the CEO and the board, also second owner of the Company Vodafone!
That the CEO of Safaricom Bob Collymore have denied and claimed that the reports is lies, is expected; a man who is earning so much and have such treasures would not jump on the sword, as he is used to tool with government entities and media as they are waiting for the money and for the services rendered by the Safaricom. With the knowledge of the monies that Safaricom can bring Media-Houses and needed Ad-Revenue, Aga Khan of the Nation Media Group (NMG) would easily be corrupt; that has been showed in the Ugandan General Election period where he was donated land to publish a positive poll in the same manner as the one was delivered towards the 2011 election there. So if Safaricom can come with good money than they surely can silence the media for their cause.
And as there was a blogger who got the hunch of the report and dropped certain knowledge of what it did say, the Safaricom could use the media they are paying high salaries to and gives lots of advertisement revenue.
Just to give you an indication on the value of money there earned inside the board of Safaricom, CEO Bob Collymore earned in the last 12 months, the net amount of Ksh. 109.5. So it’s a well-paid position and he has earned a living salary and surely could afford to pay of somebody just with his salary alone. Though I am sure the company coffers have enough to do and to silence the ones that need to be.
As much it is not only the Huawei and Safricom deal that is questionable when comes to Procurement procedure, you have also this one.
“In relation to the Fibre Space partnership dated 10th April 2015, the following documents were not provided;
So again you see shade agreement between the Safaricom and co-partnership with Fibre Space. This again shows the agreement done without due diligence or even a review, henceforth done directly instead of through the procurement agreement. This does not say who did what, but certainly something suspicious.
That Bob Collymore have to enter a Media House with Police Officers to silence them and think that this can go away, pay for Blogger Awards while the Report is circulating, even I got the papers, and I am miles away from shores and streets of Nairobi. I know the boats are in Mombasa, still the point is that I, far away can get them and paste them on my blog. So the old fashion fear driven policy of Collymore doesn’t work in the digital age. The exposed stays exposed. That is why Wikileaks and Panamapapers can do as they please.
So Safaricom has showed its face is not accountable, transparent or just in their actions as their procurement and agreements are made for the beneficiaries and not after procedure. This is just the ones that have surfaced through the reported pages from the draft report. What more that are under surface is something only Collymore and the rest of Board of Safaricom knows. The Company and owners of Vodafone only knows the whole picture, as the Government also is connected and the ability to silence the media as the Ad Revenue counter the Integrity of the set amount of journalist or editors ethical behavior. Peace.
This happens in the same time period that Gado the cartoonist at Daily Nation has been under fire for his cartoons of Kenyatta and later was finally sacked for a cartoon mocking President Museveni. So there were already issues between editorial freedom and the government control of media in Kenya under President Kenyatta, as this story will show.
Denis Galava the former editor Daily Nation who got fired for speaking up towards the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta. This here is outtakes from his affidavit and is interesting as he was fired or sacked in the end of January 2016. The gaging of Kenyan Media comes to the surface and makes an impression!
Problems of November 2015:
“Earlier in November, the Editor-In-Chief called me to his office for what I presumed was a routine discussion on the investigation docket. We had lined up stories on Eurobond, Jubilie’s Mega Scandal, the death of the manufacturing sector and the collapse of the coffee sector. While not disagreeing with the merit of the stories, he said timing was tricky. For that the Aga Khan was scheduled to visit Kenya in December 2015 as a State guest and the presidency accused the Nation of malice for interesting scandals in government” (…)”Mr. Mshindi also asked me to ask popular Saturday Nation columnist David Ndii to stop writing about Eurobond and NYS Scandal because of his provocative analyses had angered the government and cost the company business. I out rejected the proposal, saying the columnist had struck in the letter and spirit contract of his contract and the reputational damage of us gauging him was not worth the risk” (…)”And the Editor-In-Chief, instead of defending our editorial independence, had chosen to gag us” (…)”My experience with the senior editors and we concluded that the Editor-In-Chief had privilege political sensitivities and personal biases over good journalism”.
How it all started:
“Completed the Editorial at 05:30pm and alerted the acting editor of Saturday Nation to revise it. He told me it was hard-hitting, but truthful. Since the paper was in the midst of a staffing crisis, I also took on a few other tasks that evening – editing the special reports section and ‘Page one’. I left shortly thereafter for the night” (…)”Woke up on Saturday morning to a social media fest over the editorial” (…)”Around midday, the Group Managing Editor (GME) Weekend editions called saying the editorial was hard hitting but objective. He received many calls, most compelling the Nation for finally speaking truth of power and a few from State House officials saying that the editorial was a declaration of war against the president”.
This continued with reactions from the State house:
“It also learnt that there had been a call from a senior State House official later that afternoon which was to be the first rumble the thunder in the brewing storm. The official asked why the Nation was ambushing the President in the New Year. He said the President was angered by the Editorial and intended to take it up with the Nation’s founder, the Aga Khan, who had been a state guest at the 12. December 2015, Jamhuri Day celebrations”.
Calls on Sunday:
“the calls had become more frantic in tone. I learned from the GME Weekend Eric Obino that the Editor-in-Chief Tom Mshindi had called him from India saying the government had threatened serious sanctions over the editorial. That NGM board chairman Wilfred Kiboro and called and also written to the CEO Joe Muganda and Mr. Mshindi demanding immediate action to appease the government. Matters were complicated by the fact that for three years, the Nation board and the local Aga Khan network had been trying to reach out to State House in vain”.
“The Acting Saturday Nation editor Kariuki Waihenya and GME Weekend informants told me they had received emails from the editor in chief asking them to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against them over the publication of the editorial”
On Thursday – 5th January
“That morning, the HR director returned from leave for a conference call with the Editor-in-Chief, who was in India, and two Group Managing Editors for Weekend and daily editions (Mr. Obino and Mutuma Mathiu, respectively). After the discussion, the acting editor for Sunday Nation was given a first warning letter over the editorial, while his Sunday counterpart was also cautioned over the cartoon published on the January 3 that infuriated State House”
Later on the same day after picking up and taking his niece to school he got a call:
“the GME Weekend editions called asking me to join him at the responding to mounting fury, added to the prevailing bewilderment. According to his statement expressing the official position of the paper, I had not been suspended but rather advised to stay away for a few days”
On Friday – 6th January:
“the BBC interviewed Mr. Muganda over my suspension. Mr. Muganda said I been suspended for not following procedure in writing the editorial and went ahead to compare me to a bank teller who steal cash”.
On Thursday – 14th January:
“the HR Manager in charge of editorial Ms Jane Mkituri(Not sure) called me to invite me for a disciplinary hearing at 2pm on January 18. She also invited me to respond in writing to the issues raised in my suspension letter”.
On 18th January:
“In my response letter dated January 18, I protested that the procedures and guidelines referred to in the suspension letter were communicated to me for the first time in the suspension letter” (…)”While I had in the past either written or authorized editorials based on my judgement, the issue of procedure had never come up”.
Reaction to the letter:
“I was surprised to learn that two hours after submitting my response stating from there were no written procedures for editorial writing, the Editor-in-Chief issued – for the first time – comprehensive guidelines and timelines for writing editorials”.
On the disciplinary hearing:
“I was surprised that I had to defend myself to the very people who has accused me and suspended me unheard – the Editor-in-Chief, GME Weekend, HR Director and Company Secretary (Mr. Joseph Kinyua). I had expected a different, independent panel compromising at least one peer and individuals unrelated to the suspension the law states” (…)”The hearing turned out to be more of a dialogue of the deaf than even my initial cynicism anticipated” (…)”Every question started and ended with the word procedure, with an occasional dose of “disrespecting the presidency and endangering company business”. In 58 minutes, the duration of the hearing, I repeated 17 times that I not flouted procedure since, in actuality, there was no procedure to flout”.
The answer on the matter at the hearing:
“A panelist offered that he would be more cautious if he were in my shoes. Here I stood, he added, both having upset Kenya’s President and the Aga Khan, and risked the business of the paper, and yet here I also stood seeking justification rather than groveling for mercy”.
Continued part of the hearing:
“I explained that this section spoke of content and not procedure. None of the panelists cared to listen to me” (…)”Pushing the file I had given him aside, the Editor-In-Chief said I had hurt him, the tone of the editorial was disrespectful and it was risked the company business. The Company Secretary weighted in with similar comments, adding that this was the most disrespectful article on the presidency he had ever read and that I should be apologizing instead of defending the indefensible”.
Later on the 20th January:
“About 10am on Wednesday, January 20, the HR Director called and asked me to see him in the office at 4pm. He gave me the termination letter for “willful disobedience of the covenants and laid down process and procedures”. I protested this was unfair because in whole of my career at Nation”.
Together with the Gado sacking and this story of how the Editor-In-Chief dedicated the stories and silenced the newspaper and their columnist to fit the State House, is a worrying sign when we think about the up-coming elections in 2017.
That the media have to worry about writing articles to step on their toes and not be able to make stories that they can cover, as the President and his advisor will call the Nations Editor-In-Chief or CEO. As the State House want the investment from the Aga Khan and the State House want to look decent, and not have the story of corruption or scandals out! Peace.