East Africa’s top investigative scribe, Mohammed Ali, is leaving Nation Media Group after less than 4 months at the media house’s TV station, NTV. Mohammed Ali who is very principled left KTN in July issuing a notice of resignation before quitting to join NTV. But what he expected to find at NTV was a better working environment with his work and worth well appreciated.
This was not to be as sources close to Mohammed Ali indicate that investigative work done by Ali and John Allan Namu were frequently altered to suit ethnic or political interests. Sources at NMG indicate that top executives at Nation Media Group are either under control of State House mandarins or corporates who will either kill a story for either narrow political or business interest.
The source said that many journalists at Nation Media Group verticals feel frustrated and bullied into accepting their stories watered down. Last year, over 10 journalists left Nation Media Group for other media houses claiming undue influence on the editorial by individuals and corporates who would not want to see a story critical of their interests see the light of day.
Mohammed Ali did not give one month’s notice to Nation Media Group before resigning. He submitted a one day notice and is said to have already collected his letter after clearing with all departments at the Twin Towers as Nation Centre is famously called. Standard Group has agreed to fully pay Nation Media Group, on behalf of Ali, the one month salary penalty for the short notice.
Civil Service boss, Francis Kimemia and Transport minister Amos Kimunya are reported to be the two frequent callers to NMG. These two have a direct line with the NMG’s editors and other top honchos that whatever they decide that will not see the light will never be published.
One Editor at NTV recently met Atul Chandaria of I&M Bank at the New Stanley hotel and was paid around Ksh 5 million so that I&M bank would not be negatively mentioned in an investigative piece which was being done about Money Laundering. The story was discarded as businessmen and politicians called top NMG editors and management.
Atul Chandaria’s lawyer later offered bribes to scribes close to NMG editors to help discredit Ali’s story incase he went ahead and had it run elsewhere.
Another source at NTV indicate that Ali had to contend with his investigative pieces watered down. One instance was when the editors waited for Ali to fly to South Africa before greatly watering-down his investigative piece. The source reveal that the last incidence was when a piece by Mohammed Ali was reduced from close to 60 minutes to around 32 minutes without proper explanation. The sad part is that key parts implicating top government officials on various misdeeds were removed from the script.
The source stated, “Nation Media Group is run by the PNU aligned politicians who are very close to state house. Take that to the bank.”
Other print journalists like Oliver Mathenge have been assigned to cover Uhuru Kenyatta who is a fellow tribesman of top NMG bosses and those close to State House ensuring that nothing so negative about Uhuru Kenyatta will see the light of day at Nation Media Group. Reading stories, tweets and Facebook posts of Oliver Mathenge will show you how loyal he is to the TNA cause.
4 Other journalists are already lined up to follow Mohammed Ali on his way out. They are Joe Ageyo, Linda Ogutu and a Ms Yvonne from productions among others. At KTN Moha will meet Louis Otieno, Emmanuel Talam and others.
Joe Ageyo and Linda Ogutu have already submitted their resignation to the management while John Allan Namu is yet to submit his.