Journalist ambushed by Uhuru's visit reveals he doesn't recieve a salary, appeals for help

Ruben FM presenter Shaffie Zele who was ambushed by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit has disclosed that he had planned to leave the community radio station.

President Uhuru Kenyatta at Ruben FM in Mukuru kwa Ruben slums

Speaking in an interview with Nation, Zele said he was struggling to meet his needs and that of his family because the station was not paying him.

"I did not know since morning (that Uhuru would come). I had been moody since the Friday of the preceding week. I was to tender my resignation.

"I was to resign because I had tried to talk to the management to consider paying me so that i could at least afford rent. They claimed that due to Coronavirus, they did not have the money. I had decided to leave instead of working for free," explained Zele.

He added that hours before President Kenyatta’s visit, he had failed to meet his rent deadline and owed the landlord Sh2,000.

Zele was only able to pay for his rent after a friend from Radio Maisha sent him Sh2,500 and thus was left with Sh500.

Other financial constraints facing the journalist include school fees for his sister since he was the sole breadwinner.

Their father died in an accident in 2019 that was so traumatic it cost Zele his job because his father’s death affected his work then as a sports correspondent for KTN.

During his surprise appearance, President Kenyatta promised to invite the presenter to State House but Zele says he has not reached out yet.

"Dear President, If you are watching this, I ask you to change my life," he appealed to the head of state.

The presenter decried that his friends and family had high expctation from him because he works on radio.

How Uhuru Walked In

Shaffie says he did not see President Kenyatta walk into the studio because he was narrating the second half of the match between Spain and Italy which was very high-octane.

"I was celebrating a goal when I turned around and saw a man in military fatigues and after a closer look I realised it was the president and I announced to my listeners but some did not believe me.

"We talked about the teams we were supporting in the Euro 2020 Cup before we started discussing important matter in the nation," the presenter recalled.


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