Folks, it is one thing to have an employer who overloads you with work; it happens all over and most of us have developed our own mechanisms of dealing with it. However, it is a totally different story altogether to have a boss who is not just disrespectful but also loves insults, intimidation, and harassment as his style of managing his employees. Such an employer does not just infringe on the right of his employees to a conducive working environment; he is the greatest threat to the overall emotional and physical wellbeing of his employees.
An abusive employer hurts the very core of the self-esteem of his staff. An abusive employer leaves you deeply hurt emotionally. You feel inferior and useless.
An employer who keeps you forever in fear eventually leaves a totally destroyed human being.
Intimidation and harassment of employees is a vice the modern-day workplace is struggling to eliminate. Sadly, this is not the case when it comes to Slopes Media Limited which owns embattled Mt Kenya TV and Iganjo FM stations.
Actually, Slopes Media appears to be moving in a direction which is completely opposite to that of the rest of the world when it comes to the treatment of workers.
For the better part of the 8 months that Slopes Media has existed, it appears to have perfected the art and science of harassing its staff especially those who dare raise genuine concerns.
At the Village Market based media house, it is either you sing the song of the management or face the music.
As I narrated earlier in the first two parts of this expose, employees of Slopes Media have in the recent past been going through hell; unpaid salaries, zero welfare, emotional torture etc. But this is not all. The employees have been living in great fear due to the kind of harassment and intimidation being orchestrated by the management of the media house.
At Slopes Media, anyone who dares ask questions is either fired or sharply reprimanded and warned of dire consequences, or both.
The climax of this unacceptable behaviour was a few weeks ago when things became too difficult at the media house as employees initiated a go-slow to protest for not being paid for 4 months. The management immediately called what was supposed to be a crisis management meeting but which turned out to be a tongue lashing and threats session.
According to my source who was present at the meeting, the management resulted to insulting the desperate staff, calling them thankless fools who should have been grateful for being given a platform to market themselves. The management, which at some point used words I cannot be able to write here, dared those who wanted to leave to do so immediately but also know, by leaving, they will have forfeited their pending four months’ salary debt. The staff left that meeting totally shaken.
As if that was not enough, earlier this week, part of the management stormed the studio of the media house’s radio station, Iganjo FM and started insulting the hosts of the morning show, who were live on air. The presenters were forced to abandon the show and I am told it is at this point that, the then Head of TV, Macharia Wa Gachuru decided enough was enough and quit!
But perhaps, no one has mastered the art of insults than the media house’s CEO. 21 years old, full of himself and of course totally clueless about management and media, the CEO is said to be extremely arrogant and derogatory, sometimes even using unprintable language when addressing some members of staff old enough to be his parents.
“Arumaga andu agima ta ihii (He insults adults like boys),” one of the employees told me.
STATUTORY DEDUCTIONS NEVER SUBMITTED
To add insult to injury, my sources indicate that, the media house deducted NHIF, NSSF, and PAYE from the payslips of the employees, at least for the initial months they paid but never submitted the same to the relevant agencies. Where these deductions disappeared to, no one knows.
My sources also pointed out to possible tax evasion with the management having allegedly lied about their number of employees, who they stated as 6, which is totally untrue. KRA needs to check this.
ZERO POWER BILLS
I have also been reliably informed that the media houses never pay power bills as they have tapped electricity. Perhaps Kenya Power should pay the place a visit.
Folks, this whole Mt Kenya TV, and Iganjo FM saga is damn serious. It is not just destroying the lives and careers of young and promising journalists but will also seriously dent our media industry. I still don’t understand why the Media Council of Kenya and Kenya Union of Journalists are quiet on this or have they ‘eaten’ so that they remain silent? Or they too have succumbed to intimidation?
To be continued …..
NEXT: PART 4 OF 5 …..