Nation journalist takes action after being fired over Matiang'i story

Nation editors on the spot

Nation journalist Ndungu Gachane takes action after being fired over Interior CS Fred Matiang'i story

Ndung'u Chachane, a former Nation journalist who was recently fired over a story involving coverage of Interior CS Fred Matiang'i has threatened to sue the Nation Media Group over what he termed as unfair termination.

Gachane has also written to the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) seeking the regulator's intervention in his dismissal.

Speaking to Pulse Live Kenya, the Murang'a-reporter said he had a perfect work record over the past three years when he has been reporting for Nation.

Trouble, however, started a few days ago when he was assigned to cover an event in Murang'a which was attended by leading political leaders including Matiang'i, former Presidential candidate Peter Kenneth, among others.

According to the journalist, Matiang'i's officers had told him to write a story on the CS' endorsement for the presidency by a number of leaders who attended the Murang'a event.

However, he exercised his journalistic judgement and figured out the story would be late and instead sent it a day later.

"I sent a story on Peter Kenneth support for the BBI as assigned to by my immediate bosses. However, I started receiving calls from very senior people in Nation who wanted to know why Matiang'i's photo was not sent. When I explained to them , they asked me if I knew who Matiang'i was. The callers also accused me of taking a bribe to hide the story about the the Interior CS."

"I was later given a dismissal letter which terminated my contract but did not give reasons. This was a breach of contract since the contract requires me to be given reasons from my firing and an opportunity to respond to them. My immediate bosses were not even aware and were told that the decision had come from above," Gachane told Pulse Live Kenya.

He added that although he did not mind taking photos in the course of his work, it was not part of chis contract and failure to take or send the photos could not be the basis for his dismissal.

The journalist has challenged Nation Media Group to come out publicly and lay bare the charges against him, if there are any, promising that the matter would end up in court.

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