Struggling pay-tv firm to sack its workers

Zuku has been edged out in the satellite TV business by the likes of DSTV

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Ever since the digital migration wave hit Kenya two years ago, pay-tv firms have been struggling to get market share given the presence of over 45 free-to-air (FTA) channels available via FTA set-top boxes.

The satellite TV business has proved tough to some pay-tv firms even though South Africa’s DSTV still reigns the market.

And it is such dominance that will see Wananchi Group Holdings, owners of pay-TV and Internet provider Zuku, retrench a number of its staff.

The telecoms company, with 1,000 employees, says it plans to merge the satellite TV business with the triple-play Zuku service as a cost-cutting measure.

In a letter addressed to the workers through the Group’s Director of HR Dismas Omondi, the re-integration of cable and direct-to-home businesses will lead to job losses.

“The board meeting of February 19, 2017 resolved to re-integrate the cable and direct-to-home businesses. Resulting from this re-integration and alignment to the requisite reporting structure we regret to inform you that a number of positions in the organization will fall off.

“The company has embarked on a process of identifying the positions and staff that will be impacted.”

The memo says that affected workers will be sent home in the first week of June.

Those to be affected by the lay-off will however receive severance pay calculated at 15 days for each year worked, ex-gratia pay of one month for every year worked, accrued leave days untaken, and terminal benefits from the company’s pension scheme.

Zuku is said to be finding it tough to gain market share in the country given owing to the monopoly status of DSTV and more so with their exclusive rights to air the English Premier League.

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