Kenya: Editor fired for criticising president in opinion piece

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - A Senior Editor with the Nations Media Group in Kenya, who was accused of writing an editorial that heavily criticised President Uhuru Kenyatta, was sacked on Wednesday.

Reports say that Dennis Galavaa, Special project editor with the media, one of the leading in Kenya, breached established procedure which included having the paper’s Editor-In-Chief Tom Mshindi approve the editorial, published on 2 January.

But Galavaa was quick to point out that he was unaware of the so-called established procedure for writing editorials.

“I have been sacked for writing an editorial criticizing the president,” he told his media colleagues. “The reason stated is that I failed to follow established procedure in writing the editorial."

“I didn’t do anything unusual from what I normally do whenever I am writing editorials because there are no established procedures,” Galava maintained.

He said he had written numerous editorials before and had them published without getting approval from anyone. “It was not the first time.”

“I have written more than 300 editorials for the Nation, in none of them was I asked to consult anyone; this is a case of political and business expediency.”

According to him, he first received a suspension letter soon after the editorial was published to allow for investigations.

In the editorial, titled "Mr President, Get your Act Together This Year", Galava  blamed rising insecurity, graft, unemployment and generally under-performing economy in 2015 on President Kenyatta's lacklustre leadership.

But Galavaa protested that his sacking was not justified “because I did what I have been doing for years.” He accused his employer of throwing him 'under the bus'.

Several  Kenyan journalists have criticized the move, saying it's aimed at muzzling the Kenyan press, viewed by many in the East African region as vibrant and robust.
-0- PANA DJ/VAO 21Jan2016

21 january 2016 12:56:21

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