Media Max Limited, the Kenyatta family owned media house based along Kijabe street has sent its CEO Ken Ngaruiya on compulsory leave.
Sources at the company have told sauce.co.ke that the board of the company decided to send its top manager home in order to investigate his conduct.
Ngaruiya is facing claims of financial impropriety with the latest being a sh24m payment made to a firm under questionable circumstances.
What has irked the board is the fact that the firm could be his but registered under proxies and has been used in the past for other dubious businesses.
To show how unpopular the man had become, the entire newsroom is celebrating his suspension with majority praying he does not make it back.
Ngaruiya is further accused of high-handedness ,barking orders in the newsroom and sometimes even attending editorial meetings to decide story line ups for K24, the TV station, and PD, the newspaper , something that has brought him at loggerheads with the editors since he’s not a trained journalist.
The general feeling among staff is that if the board of the Kenyatta family owned media house wants the best for the firm, it better hires another individual to shepherd the firm.
Impeccable sources at the DSM building where the company is domiciled told Sauce.co.ke that the management could also be investigating possible case of ghost workers in the payroll whose salaries could have been going to an individual’s pockets at a time employees remain on half pay which was imposed when Covid 19 struck in 2020. It is the only media house that is yet to reinstate full salaries.
In 2020, Ngaruiya threatened to fire journalists who had sued the company when their salaries had been reduced despite a court order.
“Irrespective of the court order, all the 200 people who went to court, you are enemies of the company. If you sign or you don’t sign the contract, washakumaki (they have already marked you),” he told them.
A few days later more than 150 journalists were fired through text messages sent at midnight
The Mediamax media stable include K24 TV, Kameme TV, Kameme FM, Milele FM, Msenangu FM, Emoo FM, Mayian FM, Meru FM, People Daily newspaper and two websites — www.k24tv.co.ke and www.pd.co.ke.
Ngaruiya, an accountant and a First-Class graduate in Commerce (Accounting) from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa was hired as Media Max CEO in 2019.
“He has close to 20 years’ experience in the Media, Advertising and Manufacturing Industries and has served in various capacities which include; COO and Chief Finance Officer at Mediamax, COO Crown Solutions Ltd (Gases) & CFO Red Sky Ltd,” said the board when announcing his appointment in 2019.
His reign at the company has however been associated with dwindling revenues, financial losses and low morale among staff.