A mass exodus is looming at Nairobi-based CGTN Africa – the African division of China Media Group, CMG, where new bosses have taken over from their corrupt predecessors.
Staff at the failing media house have come forward to protest rampant mistreatment and racism meted upon them by rude Chinese supervisors who do not even meet basic academic qualifications.
Some are unable to communicate in basic plain English and rely on translators to pass across basic information.
The company’s management has reportedly granted them fake names in order to mask their real Chinese identities.
Nobody is allowed to question anything and journalists barely have the freedom to effectively operate.
In the last year alone, over 8 top-tier newsmen have departed the station.
A huge section of new media journalists have also opted to venture out as indepedent content creators.
Employees have also expressed opposition to impending contract changes from renewable to non-renewable.
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It has been hardly a year since the Chinese media giant rebranded once again from China Global Television Network or CGTN to China Media Group, CMG.
At the time of the launch, many, including the workers, had expected better things, with improved working conditions topping their expectations.
Content and even a broader scale-up of operations were key to the promises made by the incoming CMG group head, Mr Caori, who was said to have had a stint with CNN.
However, things seem to be on a downward spiral.
A year down, workers are deserting the company, as the new bosses turn out to be worse than the previous corrupt leaders.
In the last year, the media shell has lost almost eight journalists, and more are expected to leave.
The first to call it quits was Alex Kiarie, a scriptwriter and field producer waveguide after being poached by KTN News.
Rahab Wambui, who produced the Faces of Africa series – a cash cow for the former Chinese bosses – later followed him.
She left after constant harassment from the new bosses, yet she was never part of the cartel that used to siphon resources in the guise of buying content grin the Mohammed Amin Media outfit.
Lately, studio cameramen Ken Kaigua and Paul Pembroke also left in a huff after facing career stagnation.
Another script writer, Senegalese – American Asta Tall, also left followed by another producer, Felix Nyawara.
New media has also suffered the loss of American journalists, Daniel Plafker of new media who opted to be an independent content creator.
We understand that talented news anchor and reporter, Lindy Mtongana from South Africa has resigned.
It is also rumoured that former Citizen TV reporter, Wilkister Nyabwa, a news Line producer, Isaac and business news anchor and reporter, Ramah Nyang are also on their way out.
It is being reported that workers are disgruntled by the condescending attitude of the new bosses, who are keen to make their lives harder by cutting on the medical insurance cover claiming that they are paying too much.
It is rumoured that there are intentions of contracts being changed from the current renewable ones to fixed ones that cannot be renewed once they expire.
The motive it to keep the workers on a leash with contracts being the carrot and stick.
Recently, a worker who had demanded a pay rise was told that Kenyans don’t deserve it since “they have no other place to work when they quit CMG.”
It is also alleged that the new supervisors from China are academic dwarfs with no experience in management and media practice.
Racism and graft drive them.
Some of them have compromised immigration officials by having work permits granted to them through corruption yet they are performing duties that can be done by locals.
Kenyan workers are basically forced to work under Chinese labour laws, since to them, Kenya is in china’s pocket and ministry of labour officials that are sent to investigate are corrupted to keep mum on the situation.
Some of the Chinese supervisors can barely communicate in basic English and instead, rely on translators.
They have also hidden their identities in English names, while their Chinese names remain hidden from the people they supervise.
So bad is the situation that journalists are frustrated since they are not allowed to travel outside Nairobi to collect news and features.
Instead, they are forced to repackage stories from international media channels that CMG apparently competes with.
Xuguang, the TV news editor, is clueless about broadcasting while his deputy, Yao Hong, knows nothing apart from screaming at workers.
The human resource officer has no say when it comes to matters employees, and that leaves them with no one to turn to.
It is said that time and time again she has failed to check into employee affairs and that her hands are tied.
Since 2018, workers at CGTN Africa have been crying out for better treatment to no avail.
If China is keen on maintaining its grip on Africa, it should learn to treat its workers well, reduce racism and stop imposing its ideologies on Africans,” the source writes.
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