Maina Kageni and Mwalimu King’ang’i have raised some important questions on Kenya’s labour laws which do not seem to respect the Kenyan worker.
And the subject matter that they focused on was the manner in which K24 decided to fire it’s employees after management had occasioned and fostered ill-will towards them and the company, culminating at one point in legal action being sort by the employees to protect themselves.
This had been occasioned by K24’s decision to backdate a 50 per cent pay cut. Former K24 employees moved to court to stop this and actually won that exact desired measure only for them to receive an SMS notifying them of their retrenchment.
The day you decide to fire me, don´t send me an SMS, I can even be driving or doing something that might cause an accident. Let´s get this straight, you don´t do that sh*t to me. Call me for a drink and when I am high, drop the news. Some things can kill you.
And Maina Kageni chimed in saying,
Shame on you, how can you do that? How can you ask someone to meet you at a certain hotel and then drop such news?
The reason why the conversation Maina Kageni and Mwalimu King’ang’i is bigger than they know is that this conversation shone a spotlight on the manner in which Kenyan employees are at the mercy of their employers.
While it is true that the macro-economic situations brought about by Covid-19 have trickled down and adversely affected Kenyan businesses, it shouldn’t be used as an excuse to deny employees basic dignity.
Aside from what Mwalimu Kinga’ang’i highlighted regarding the circumstances one might find themselves after being sacked via SMS, one has to wonder whether K24 and Mediamax will be able to rebuild a workforce consistently seeking to turn around the company’s fortunes especially after they have witnessed how the old guard were unceremoniously ejected.
The conversation between Main Kageni and Mwalimu King’ang’i also raised a question on whether the government actually cares about the wellbeing of Kenyans outside of their clear gluttony for taxation. And it is of special interest that Media Max is held in majority by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family.
Covid-19 has introduced us all to a cowardly new world and it remains to be seen whether the conversation between Maina and King’ang’i will spark a change in thinking within Kenya’s
July 15, 2020