Kenya’s leading media company, Royal Media Services (RMS), has asked members of its staff who are eyeing elective seats in the August general election to resign.
In a memo on Thursday, RMS Managing Director Wachira Waruru directed the affected group of journalists to hand in their resignation letters by March 1, 2022.
Waruru stated that the directive is part of the company’s policy.
“In line with the company’s culture and practice, any employee wishing to contest in any elective position must tender his/her resignation from employment before 1st March 2022,” the memo reads.
“If you need any further clarification on this matter, consult your Head of Department or the Human Resources Office.”
This writer understands that the move is part of RMS management’s efforts to deal with possible conflict of interest in election coverage.
The SK Macharia owned media house runs three TV stations — Citizen, Inooro and Ramogi televisions — and 13 radio stations.
Several journalists from different media houses have publicly expressed interest in different positions in the polls scheduled for August 9.
Most of the RMS journalists remain tight-lipped but their colleagues from rival stations have already announced when they plan to exit mainstream media.
Bonnie Musambi of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) said recently that he will step down early next month to concentrate on politics. He is reportedly eyeing a parliamentary seat in Kitui County.
“Today marks 1 month before my exit from KBC, where I have served for 14 years. On February 9, by the grace of God, and if things do not change… I will be leaving KBC in order to grow and pursue my own dreams,” he announced on January 10 while hosting the Zinga show on KBC‘s Radio Taifa.
Other media personalities set to resign by end of next month include Alex Mwakideu of Milele FM and his Kiss 100 counterpart Felix Odiwuor alias Jalang’o.
Besides the private sector, a number of civil servants including Cabinet Secretaries are expected to step down to launch their political bids.
The Kenyan law requires all public servants seeking elective positions to resign six months to a General Election.